4/28 – Paul G. Stoltz. Grit – The New Science of What It Takes To Persevere – Flourish – Succeed

Book Reviews / April-June 2016

Arzina Zaza

PaulStoltzGritOverview of the Work

According to Dr. Stoltz, this book was written to help its readers understand what grit means, how to use grit and learn how to incorporate grit into their lives.

The book first started with an introduction called Nitty-Gritty where the author presented what Grit was and what it means to have Grit. In this section the author discussed the GRIT challenge and also reviewed why it is important to have Grit if you want to succeed. The rest of the book was divided into 6 major sections each detailing a certain component of Grit. As Dr. Stoltz mentioned in the book that each section was an important component to learn about and once a reader would learn about the basics, then they would excel to the advanced parts of the book.

The author wrote this book as part of a seminar that he offers on GRIT. It seemed that once a person read this book, their obvious next steps would be to attend the workshop on GRIT where they would actually learn the skills necessarily to incorporate GRIT into their lives or it was a next step purchase after an introductory seminar on GRIT and once the reader went through this book they would be ready for their next seminar.

It seemed that the author used qualitative research methodologies and interviewed various individuals who the author felt had exemplified having GRIT. Dr. Stoltz wrote about all these individuals and their successes throughout the book.

Evaluation of the Work

The author had a really good idea and did a good job in presenting the subject matter but failed to add the tools needed for the reader to use to build the skills necessary to excel in each area mentioned in the book. The author talked about why GRIT mattered but did not add what the readers could do to add GRIT into their lives. This book which included information shared about various individuals interviewed were on the surface and there was no depth as none of the individuals shared the tools and tips they used to add GRIT into their lives – they just shared their person thoughts and stories which we all from the author’s perspectives.

There was no sampling design used and there were no methods shown that were used to gather and present data except information that the author had gathered from meeting with individuals he had crossed path with or having experienced or watched individuals grow. The author used these examples based on what he associated to their success. A more concrete methodology and more structure on gathering and presenting the ideas would have substantiated the author’s thoughts on the subject matter and made the information more meaningful.

Another area that was a bit puzzling was how the author used images of the bottom of work boots on some of the pages and used words like GROK and GAUGE. It seemed that the author was targeting a certain audience. The issue with this is that it made the book and the information hard to follow and it was a bit difficult to read. If a book does not have step by step processes to help one learn how to add GRIT into their lives, then this cannot be put in the category of self-help. This book is more of an additional tool to have once a person already has had the opportunity to incorporate ways to add GRIT into their lives and this book can provide examples on how a person can take their already existing GRIT skills to the next level.

The author used quite a bit of assumptions based on his knowledge and his previous work. He is the CEO of an organization which he founded, called PEAK. PEAK offers workshop and seminars to business leaders on GRIT. Dr. Stoltz tends to push the idea of the importance of attending the workshops offered by his organization throughout the book and that is why the actual book does not have the tools one would need to add GRIT into their lives. When individuals read the book, they then become aware of the importance of being like the successful role models mentioned in the book and that is why the author then puts a plug in for his company.

Recommendation/ Assessment of the Work

This book was full of jargon and words that might not appeal to the general public. A lot of the words are borrowed from the construction world and with images like work boots prints, words like grook and gauge; this book was not an easy read. There were lots more information leaning towards more of a male audience vs. a female audience. The stories were presented from a personal perspective and if the author had conducted further research, the material in this book would have carried more weight.

Overall, this was a book that would appeal to someone who is familiar with Dr. Stoltz’s organization or who might have attended workshops or participated in seminars offered by PEAK. This book would be a good next step and a good tool to have to enhance what one would have already been introduced to through programs offered by Dr. Stoltz’s company – PEAK.

About the Author

Arzina Zaza grit

Arzina Zaza

Arzina Zaza is currently an Associate faculty at the University of Phoenix.  I have been teaching classes under the School of Business and College of Humanities and Social Sciences since 2007 and I love it.  My favorite class to teach is Critical Thinking and I look forward to every opportunity to impact the lives of my students in a positive way.  My goal, once I complete my doctorate program, is to become a full time faculty member while also spending time on my research and working on publishing my work. The focus of my research is on Generation Y employees and their success in the work place.  I do feel that there are opportunities on how to lead these employees who make up a substantial part of our workforce and it is important to find out what works for them so they can excel in their workplace while also helping their organization succeed.

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