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Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary Hardcover – September 8, 2015

4.6 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


 “You don’t need to be brilliant or incredibly talented to become hugely successful. But what you do need is to read this book. Grit to Great teaches us all how to develop our grit quotient so almost any goal is possible.” –James Patterson, bestselling author, former CEO of J. Walter Thompson

“An insightful guide to achieving success in work and life, filled with real-life stories, tools and techniques that can help us all live with more passion, perseverance and resilience.” – Arianna Huffington

"You need GRIT to get great, and this book succinctly tells you how to do it. There’s no sugar coating: Thaler and Koval tell it like it is because they’ve used grit to achieve great success themselves.  I recommend it.” – Mark Sanborn, bestselling author of The Fred Factor

Grit to Great reminds us that every day is an opportunity to set new goals and challenge ourselves in different ways. With grit, no matter our age or whether we’ve accomplished prior goals, there are countless reasons to keep moving forward and enormous, often unforeseen rewards to be reaped in the process.” – Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association

 “Don’t walk, run to get your copy of Grit to Great. It’s chock full of good sense, insights, and useful advice that can make just about anyone feel they can succeed.” – Diana Aviv, President and CEO, Independent Sector

“Losing weight and staying fit are hard work.  Grit to Great helps give you the tools to make your goals a reality and be the best you can be.” – Florine Mark, President & Chairman of the Board of The Weight Watchers Group, Inc.

“In Grit to Great, Linda and Robin offer the insight, knowledge, and life lessons that can help propel you to the next level.  Their determination to succeed has had direct tangible benefits for many iconic brands, including Aflac.  Their ‘grit’ has led to another remarkable book that lays out in straightforward fashion what it truly takes to be successful.” – Dan Amos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aflac

"Thaler and Koval have written a very valuable book.  Their insights and anecdotes on the importance of hard work, perseverance, and character provide timeless lessons that will resonate with their readers - from the senior executive to the summer intern." – Gail McGovern, President and CEO, The American Red Cross

“In Grit to Great, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval remind us that it takes much more than a diploma or high pedigree to be successful.  It takes equal parts hard work, determination, pluck, and a willingness to confront adversity and failure head-on. . . Grit to Great is a celebratory tribute to the great American success story.” – Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League

“Looking for a real secret to success? It's not just who you know. It's about determination, tenacity, hard work and, above all, grit. Grit to Great by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval combines solid, usable advice with engaging stories to create a near-perfect handbook on how to succeed.” – Keith Ferrazzi, author of the #1 NY Times Bestseller Who's Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone

“Grit to Great is packed with wisdom and lessons on how develop the power of perseverance, tenacity and fortitude that ultimately leads to success. The insights here will stay with you long after you finish reading!” – Marshall Goldsmith, author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal  bestsellers Triggers, and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

“Grit and tenacity are absolutely essential to success, and that’s why I’m so excited about Linda and Robin’s new book, Grit to Great. Grit is what made America great, and it’s what will make you be the person you truly want to be, in any area where you really want to succeed. I've read it and I'm recommending it to all my friends. I know the authors, and they not only wrote the book on grit, they live it.  It’s going to change your life." – John Maxwell, author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and other bestsellers

“In Grit to Great, Linda and Robin have written what is sure to be another bestseller.  It’s a simple, well-written, inspiring read that will get you going on your own journey from grit to great.” – Andrea March, Co-founder, Women's Leadership Exchange 


About the Author

Linda Kaplan Thaler is an Advertising Hall of Fame luminary and creator of many of the industry’s most iconic campaigns, including Kodak Moments and the hilarious Aflac duck. Linda was the co-founder and CEO of the Kaplan Thaler group, which quickly became one of America’s fastest growing ad agencies. She is currently Chairman of Publicis Kaplan Thaler, and the coauthor of several national bestsellers, including Bang! Getting Your Message Heard in a Noisy World, The Power of Nice, and The Power of Small.  She lives with her family in New York City. 

Robin Koval is the CEO and President of the Truth Initiative, the national public health foundation dedicated to achieving a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco and the creators of the award winning and life-saving truth® youth tobacco prevention program. Robin is also a leader in the world of advertising and marketing. She is a co-founder of the Kaplan Thaler Group, creators of the Aflac Duck and many other well-known campaigns, and was CEO of its successor, Publicis Kaplan Thaler. She is the co-author of three other best-selling books: The Power of Nice, The Power of Small, and Bang! Getting Your Message Heard in a Noisy World.  Robin lives with her husband in Washington, D.C.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; First Edition edition (September 8, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804139121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804139120
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
You don’t need talent to get ahead in your career, or even good grades or good luck. Luck comes to those who don’t give up. Grit to Great is about how to achieve success in business and life by setting goals, working hard, going beyond talent and entitlement to help you stand out. If you are ready to face your goals with hard work and work past the inevitable failures, this book will give you a few tools to help you succeed in whatever you plan to do.

There are real life stories to illustrate the point of each chapter. Actionable steps to help you build your Grit quotient in real life are given at the end of each chapter.

Grit to Great is a self-help book that is typical of the genre, written by a couple of advertising executives and copy writers. The words flow easily and effortlessly so it will draw you right along with its promises of success, if you’ll apply a little perseverance, creativity, and tenacity.

The stories are engaging and inspiring, like the one about James Henry who learned to read at the age of 96, and then published his memoir at 98. The story of Google Senior Manager Sabrina Farmer who ran a triathlon and then a marathon and defeated her self-doubt, will inspire you to look beyond your self-talk. The story of Eleanor Longden, who finished her PhD in psychology in spite of being diagnosed with schizophrenia, will show you that no matter what your handicap if you want it bad enough you can reach your own goal. These are exceptional stories of people who faced adversity and through grit and determination completed their goals.

The book is compact, tidy, and will fit easily in your purse or briefcase to read while you are commuting or waiting for an appointment. The authors’ style is upbeat, fresh, and insightful.
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Format: Hardcover
Absolutely loved this book!!
As a recent grad it really resonated with me- I've had a lot of anxiety about my post-college life and employment, but "Grit to Great" helped show me that the ONLY thing that mattered was GRIT: my Guts, Resilience, Initiative, and Tenacity. I feel much more optimistic about the future, I know as long as I'm willing to put in the hard work I'll be able to reach my goals.
The book is extremely relevant to people of all ages, at any point in their careers (or thinking about starting a new path!). I also loved the "Grit Builders" at the end of each chapter- small steps that will help take me from Gritty to Great. I even started making my bed every morning, to my parents' extreme surprise when they came to visit.

"Grit to Great" is filled with deeply moving and inspiring stories, and I can't recommend it enough- it'll change your outlook on life.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Guts. Resilience. Initiative. Tenacity. These are the 4 quality of Grit that are laid out in Grit to Great by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval. Their combination as well as perseverance, passion and pluck move from ordinary to extra-ordinary.

I appreciated the authors emphasis on sheer hard work. Push through and persevere. The temptation too often is to hit a road block and turn back, they inspire one to move forward.

Yet my biggest turn off to the book was stories of sheer hard work. 24 hour days. No matter what it takes. It felt as if I took their advice family would be left in the dust. Drink more caffeine make keep you awake, but will it keep you going for the long haul?

The prescriptions of grit in the book seemed to fit best in seasons of work more than a lifestyle of sustaining work. I was impressed by the accomplishments of their underdog ad agency in outworking the competition. I just didn't see that as a healthy model for a sustainable life.

You might think by those comments I didn't like the book, but I loved the book. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter provided inspiration. The stories in each chapter provided direction. The grit builder exercises at the end of the book provided application.

Best of all when I was done with the book I felt I had some tools for building grit in my life: stop the excuses, Do your to-do list.Have a hundred year plan with a series of goals for every five or ten years of one's life. Prioritize the things you want to accomplish at different stages of life.

If you want to get fired up with grit, good book to read. Go to grittogreat.com and take the grit test (I'm a grit master, but not a grit superstar).
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Format: Hardcover
How perseverance, passion, and pluck take you from ordinary to extraordinary. The authors are also the authors if The Power of Nice. They acknowledge right off the bat that grit is a "somewhat old fashioned term" that means " sweat, not swagger" and "character not charisma" They chronicle their own start of the Kaplan Thayer Group advertising agency, that has grown to $3 billion in Billings, and over 800 employees.
Also the four ingredients of grit. Guts, resilience, initiative, and tenacity. At the end of every chapter are some action steps called Grit Builders, which are steps to take to put the information into practice. In the chapter titled the talent myth, the two talk about how they did a presentation and gained the business of fast food giant Wendys. The book is actually full of personal examples of using grit to accomplish goals. In the chapter, Lose the safety net, they tell the story of Nik Wallenda and his tightrope walking, and actually interviewed him.The chapter titled, Get into wait training, talks about psychology and delayed gratification and waiting. "It's on these moments of boredom or inactivity that we can be our most creative, solve problems, engage with the world around us, and train ourselves to accept that we don't always have to feel busy to be fulfilled." This is very good advice for all of us. This book reminded me of similar booms by Malcolm Gladwell that talk about what success is, and what it's not. And how some people are surprised that success is not what people think.
I enjoyed reading about success others have had using grit to become great. It is encouraging to hear about success among seemingly ordinary folks that seem to be nothing special on the outside, but have grit on the inside.
I have been provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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