Letter from the Editor
As we have been doing for a while, in this issue we again feature images of people who
express why they work in healthcare. Most fall into the category of wanting to help others—patients, doctors. This is a wonderful motivation. But can we sustain it on a long
term basis, day in and day out?
I’m thinking back to a Motivideo we ran a few years ago, one by Angela Lee Duckworth,
author of “Grit.” In it, the innovative psychologist explained that high achievement may
be assisted by intelligence, talent, upbringing and other factors, but it primarily depends
on one key factor: grit, a combination of passion and persistence. It’s what virtually all
successful people have in common.
She offers the example of being a teacher in the New York City schools, where she discovered that the distinction between the best and worst students was in no way directly related to IQ, which is what she had assumed.
Going to grad school to become a psychologist, she observed officer candidates in military training and children
competing in a spelling bee. She also went to corporations and examined their sales forces to determine who
would keep their jobs. In these and other circumstances, her initial predictions turned out to be wrong by a
longshot. It wasn’t social intelligence, good looks or physical health It was gritty—having the stamina to stick it
out for long-term goals.
I recently read an account by a woman who had met with Mother Teresa. Expecting a sweet, grandmotherly
angel, she was surprised to meet a very tough, practical, determined woman. Mother Teresa said to her “You have
to be tough to do what I do every day and get up the next day and do it again. This kind of work is only for people
who are tough and not for people who want to feel good. They do their job no matter how it makes them feel.”
I offer this because I admire the grit of people in our industry who do stick it out. Some days are really tough.
Some years are really tough. Sometimes you lose an account or your job. But if you really got into this to make
a difference—as most of our Why I Am In Healthcare respondents did—you obviously have that combination
of passion and perseverance that Ms. Duckworth celebrates. It’s easy to want to help on Volunteer Day at your
child’s school, or a couple of times a year for the charity you admire. To do it every day for years is the real accomplishment.
So here’s to those of you who embody that trait of grit. We will continue to feature, celebrate and support all you do.
We try to keep up with all this, and bring you the people who have a grasp on change. We hope that it will be
informative, and assist you in furthering the work you do every day. Let us know what topics will be most useful
Neil Greenberg, Editor
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