How to be an Original [A Review]

Originals by Adam Grant

adam grant - originals

   [Image courtesy of Amazon.com]

I’ve learnt a few interesting things from this book, and they sort of debunk the assumptions I’ve always had about non-conformists and how to be different.

First, successful non-conformists are not necessarily risk-takers. In fact, they are more likely to hedge and spread out their risks, so that they have a higher chance of success. 

Second, procrastination may be a good thing because it allows one to continually refine one’s ideas and solutions.

Third, your enemies may be more valuable as potential candidates for coalition than your frenemies – folks who sometimes agree with you, but oppose you at other times.

Fourth, devil’s advocates don’t work unless they are the real thing.

Fifth, venting your emotions will not help to calm you down but serves to fuel the emotions further.

But I think my biggest takeaway from the book was the chapter on how to nurture an original, and how we should teach children by linking their behaviours to the right values, instead of just setting rules.

These are but a few of the key points the author has attempted to highlight in eight chapters.

VERDICT: This books offers a few new insights (through examples) on how we can learn to be more of an original, and is written in a manner that’s easy to read and follow. Plus the author has included a section at the end of the book that summarizes what individuals, organizations and parents can do to create an environment that is more conducive for nurturing originals. If you’re looking for some ideas on how to do so, this book might help. Just be aware that like most books of this nature, the insights and tips will remain as insights and tips until you’re able to internalize them and practise them in life.

 

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