The Asia-Pacific Scholar
Dujeepa D. Samarasekera & Matthew C. E. Gwee
There is now strong and compelling research evidence that individual grit (i.e. the combination of passion and perseverance of an individual for a given task—independent of the domain) is a better predictor of an individual’s potential for success in the future work environment (and, therefore, presumably one’s lifetime achievements as well) than just one’s innate talent. For example, cadets who gain admission into prestigious military institutions like West Point and the Army Special Operation Forces in the USA, are often selected from student cohorts with high scholastic achievements and excellent sportsmen: thus, acceptance into these prestigious institutions is highly competitive—requiring, both, intense physical endurance and high mental agility. However, in spite of such competitiveness, a small percentage of cadets selected often ‘drop-out’ prematurely from the training programme. The ‘dropouts’ often constitute an ‘economic waste’ to the organisation concerned, especially when candidates have been specially selected over many others with similar qualifications. The ability to predict such ‘potential dropouts’, even before the candidates undertake the training programme, will help in the selection of more suitable candidates for the training course, with consequent cost-savings to the organisation concerned. Moreover, if selected candidates are deemed “more suitable” for the training course, then it probably can also be assumed that such candidates will also perform well in their future work environment.