Grit has always been loosely appreciated in multiple cultures as a positive trait. Most recently, grit has thoroughly been studied by author Angela Duckworth who documented her research in the NY Times bestseller “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance”. In her research, Duckworth found that grit, as a character trait, can help young people achieve their long-term goals.

“Grit is a common denominator of high achievers across very different fields.” – Angela Duckworth

However, more recently, a new school of thought has emerged that counters Duckworth’s research and states that an emphasis on grit to explain students’ success is tantamount to “victim blaming” those who do not succeed. This new school of thought argues that emphasizing grit necessarily downplays the systemic challenges that some students face in their educational and professional careers, such as poverty and racism.

About a year ago, Adam Park joined Softdocs as the new CEO, and with his arrival, he formed a new executive team and a redefined set of corporate values to guide the entire Softdocs team. Grit was one of the first values that everyone agreed upon, and since then, whenever we list our values, Grit is always first.

Our founders, executives, and employees acknowledge the importance of grit in our day-to-day activities. At Softdocs, we believe grit is a necessary attribute to achieve success – for a person and for an organization. During performance reviews, we are instructed to explore and experiment with new ideas on how to be resourceful, resilient, and tenacious in our work. At the end of a review cycle, during our performance reviews, we are encouraged to check in with ourselves on how we are applying grit in our daily activities.

The reason our customers love us and trust us to manage their sensitive data is that our values are not just preached from on high but practiced daily. “As a small organization, we have to make frequent pivots in our operations. We count on the grit of our colleagues to successfully execute the pivots when they happen,” said Amanda Short, Head of Sales. Whether it is our tireless services organization or our inventive product team or even our persistent sales organization, we believe that grit makes us a better organization than any of our peers in the market. “At Softdocs, we bring innovation, hard work, and creativity to craft solutions to challenging situations, and we persist until we overcome the obstacles that many would say are too hard to solve,” said our Account Executive Paul McDermott.

To repeat what was said earlier – at Softdocs, we believe grit is a necessary attribute to achieve success. But by no means do we consider it sufficient.

The pandemic has brought to light the harsh inequities that our students, teachers, and staff face. We have seen our customers deal with suboptimal conditions and struggle to keep their heads above water. It is not possible for an individual to succeed with one hand (or both hands) tied behind their back.

Technology can be a great equalizer, but even here, the mounting shortage of IT resources makes it very difficult to deliver on the promise of equality. As an institution that caters exclusively to the education market, Softdocs is acutely aware of the constraints that educational institutions face today. As the pressure to “do more with less” mounts, school districts and educational institutions are looking for solutions with a breadth of capabilities rather than point solutions that come with hidden and mounting costs. The Etrieve platform by Softdocs is capable of addressing a broad range of needs that schools face and is capable of delivering on those needs faster and more economically than anyone else. Our experience with the needs of the education market means our solutions are tailor-made to meet the needs of not just the IT staff but those of teachers, staff, and students and to maximize institutional success.

The importance of grit as a requirement for success cannot be overstated. But we at Softdocs believe that the same values that help us deliver the best possible solution for schools to meet and exceed the potential of their students also help us empathize with our teachers and students that are doing more with less. We stand by these values and believe that if we can reduce even a little bit of the inequality that students face and remove even a small hurdle on their paths, we can enable student and institutional success for everyone.