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My dream course for every university is Failure 101, where you would sign up and set out to fail.

Angela Duckworth Founder and CEO, Character Lab; Professor of Psychology, University of...

Can Character be Learned?

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Can Character be Learned?


When we look for attributes of strong leaders, we look for creativity and curiosity, integrity and empathy, diligence and discipline. Ideally, a great leader embodies all of these attributes, which collectively describe their character, and these leaders invariably point to influences including parents, teachers, mentors, and to critical episodes, including failures. This suggests that we can study and then reverse-engineer the development of great leaders. Leading-edge psychologist Angela Duckworth, whose best seller Grit explores how passion and perseverance lead to high achievement, and Jackie Bezos, fierce advocate for childhood development and youth leadership, discuss what we know about paragons of character, and how we may be able to put that knowledge to use.

There isn’t a moment of life where children are not learning. There is not a moment in life when they aren’t imitating. There is not a moment in life when they are not generalizing. They are figuring things out. And when they see you talk a certain way, act a certain way, flinch or not flinch with people who maybe aren’t the same color as you, maybe of a different social class — everything that you can imagine that you would care about bringing out in your kids, they are watching from the earliest days.
Angela Duckworth

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Grit: The Power of Passion and Perserverance

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Can Character be Learned?

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