Guest: Angela Duckworth, professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

“There’s got to be a cost” when you pursue your passions, says University of Pennsylvania professor Angela Duckworth; in fact, the word “passion” comes from the Latin word for “suffering.” But that doesn’t mean that gritty people are unhappy. After the time needed for sleep, daily exercise, friends, and family, Dr. Duckworth explains, “what’s left is more than 40 hours.” Informed by her research and her own happiness, she tries to discourage her students from settling for a 9 to 5 life: “There’s so many people that exemplify a life of dedication, and hard work, and of happiness, and humor, and friends, and family, that I think we should tell young people, ‘Look, don't assume that's not possible.’”

In this episode, Angela and Joubin discuss being punctual, Danny Kahneman, AP Calculus, moving the finish line, teaching grit to children, Arthur Ashe, Diana Nyad, passion and sacrifice, hiring gritty people, “change your situation,” Marc Leder and Rodger Krouse, Invictus, ChatGPT, neural autopilot, and Steve Jobs.

In this episode, we cover:
  • “I have a thing with time” (01:36)
  • Being the GOAT (06:37)
  • Mr. Yom (09:27)
  • Chef Marc Vetri (14:15)
  • The Devil Wears Prada (16:03)
  • Talking about grit (18:12)
  • Satisfaction, loneliness, and happiness (20:24)
  • Success as a journey (28:23)
  • The cost of hard work (32:52)
  • Angela’s 70-hour work week (36:31)
  • Charisma and loving what you do (40:55)
  • Why high achievers have supportive partners (47:07)
  • The next book (55:25)
  • Pick the right market (57:45)
  • Therapy questions (59:53)
  • The Incredible Hulk vs. James Bond (01:02:45)
  • Automating decisions (01:05:43)
  • What “grit” means to Angela (01:09:39)


What is Grit?

Grit explores what it takes to create, build, and scale world-class organizations. It features weekly episodes highlighting the leaders who are pushing their companies to make a difference. This series is hosted by Joubin Mirzadegan, go to market operating partner at Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital firm investing in history-making founders.