“The strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success.”
–Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld
The ‘Tiger Mother’, Amy Chua, and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, both law professors at Yale University, have a new book in which they put forth a provocative thesis; that in America, each minority group that rises to the top academically and economically is driven by a trifecta of qualities: feelings of superiority, concurrent feelings of inferiority, and the ability to resist temptation. They expound on this theory in a recent lucid and cogent New York Times essay. Of course generalizing to the group level can be fraught with problems, as there are exceptions to every rule, but Chua and Rubenfeld’s thesis deserves a thorough examination.
At Meritas, we strive to advance our clients’ success by clarifying goals at the personal and organizational levels, and by devising behavioral and personnel-related strategies that teams and leaders can use to achieve those goals. Although Chua and Rubenfeld’s work is primarily focused in the academic sphere, it’s easy to see how their “triple package” of seemingly contradictory traits applies to the business world. Perseverance and overcoming adversity can lead to pride in one’s strength of will. A need to prove oneself can provide sufficient motivation and a drive to achieve. Exercising impulse control can help one develop habits of discipline and a strong work ethic.
We agree with the authors: anyone can develop this combination of characteristics with hard work and “grit”. Let Meritas Partners cultivate these traits in you and your team today.