Angela Lee Duckworth studies intangible concepts such as self-control and grit at the University of Pennsylvania. Her goal is to determine how they might predict both academic and professional success.
Forbes described her with following words: “Angela Lee Duckworth’s research validated and furthered my beliefs in the keys to success for individuals, teams and a business. While intelligence is required, Angela demonstrated that the determining factors for success were perseverance, hard work and a drive to improve.”
In her late 20s, Angela Lee Duckworth left a demanding job as a management consultant at McKinsey and started teaching math in public schools in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and New York.
After five years of teaching seventh graders, she went back to grad school to complete her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Now, she is an assistant professor there, in the psychology department. Her research subjects include West Point cadets, students, and corporate salespeople, all of whom she studies to determine how “grit” is a better indicator of success than factors such as family income or intelligence.