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How Non-Conformists Move The World
It is hard to be original when there is so much skepticism surrounding you.
In our summary of “Originals,” we show you how you can “package” your originality so others will see it. We cast a light on how tactical and strategic you have to be to thrive in an organization.
Who Should Read “Originals”? and Why?
In “Originals”, bestselling author, consultant and Wharton School professor Adam Grant raises the question of originality in the workplace. He explores the subject through a presentation of business histories, anecdotes and studies, that show how an original can thrive in an organization.
The truth is, even the most future-oriented companies are prone to resisting originality. Such is the case because the idea is not the only thing that is important – a good presentation is essential as well.
Grant motivates readers by giving them numerous examples of originals who somehow managed to turn their ideas into reality.
We recommend this book to all creative thinkers who still haven’t found a way to express their originality.
About Adam Grant
Adam Grant is the Wharton School’s highest-rated professor and the youngest tenured faculty member. He is a former advertising director and a junior Olympian.
Grant starts “Originals” by referring to the remarkable accomplishments of online eyeglass creator Warby Parker.
He shows his respect of the inventiveness of the organization’s founders, which were all Wharton students. The founders offered Grant an opportunity to contribute, before their launch.
However, he turned them down because Luxottica controlled over 80% of the eyeglass market. Hence, he did not feel that a group of students just starting out could profit.
Warby Parker, however, took a unique path. He allowed customers to buy glasses on the web and, if they did not like them, send them back.
Its launch was a great success.
The founders primarily thought they would offer three sets per day, yet they sold a year’s worth in less than a month and needed to create a 20,000 person waiting list.
Grant is genuine about his failure to invest. He observes it as his “worst financial decision” ever.
This book sprang from his wish to fathom his failure to grasp inventiveness when it was right in front of his nose.
Grant presents the delicacy of coalitions and shows that allied enemies can persevere through longer than one of the friendly back-stabbers, or how he calls them “frenemies.”
He furthermore utilizes the historical backdrop of the suffragette development as a significant example of the way adversaries concede their ill will but are willing to participate in common purposes.
Lucy Stone (1818-1893) was the first American woman to hold her original last name after marriage, the first Massachusetts woman to get a professional education and the first American that became a full-time speaker on women’s rights.
She published Woman’s Journal, which survived for half a century. Starting in 1853, Stone worked for 15 years with well known early women’s activists, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
However, in 1869, Stone experienced a severe split from Anthony and Stanton.
They opened rival associations and published rival newspapers. After some time, Anthony and Stanton “wrote Stone out” of their coverage of the historical backdrop of women’s journey for the vote.
Grant reports that the issue that sundered Anthony and Stanton from Stone was African-American suffrage.
Anthony and Stanton figured it is out of line to give dark men a chance to vote when white women could not, so they did not accept suffrage for colored men. Furthermore, Anthony regarded Stone’s support for giving dark men the right to vote as a disloyalty to the women’s cause.
They never got together again and fought until the very end.
Grant utilizes their story to indicate why you should know your partners and maybe even believe them less than your adversaries, who, at least will show consistent behavior.
He cautions readers that in a partnership, particularly in a business one, shared objectives are not sufficient to keep the partners together.
Shared values are great to have, but you additionally should concur on procedures and strategies.
Key Lessons from “Originals”
1. Get Prepared for Skepticism
2. Two Roads to Success
3. Embrace Your Flaws
Get Prepared for Skepticism
Being original in the business world is difficult.
Many original people present themselves and the ideas they come up with in a way that undermines their position in the eyes of others. They do not understand that most of the people they contact will be a skeptic.
Original thinkers must be prepared to encounter skepticism and be ready to defeat it.
Two Roads to Success
Simply put, you can take two routes to success: originality or conformity.
Conformity is being like everyone else.
Originality, on the other hand, is not merely having fresh ideas. That is only the beginning. To be original, you have to fight to bring those ideas into life.
Embrace Your Flaws
As we already discussed, people will regard you with skepticism and cynism. Most of the time the listeners to your pitchers will stand ready to attack. You will not get much encouragement from them. On the contrary, they will try to beat you down using every flaw they can find.
Originals are aware of it. So, to stay protected, embrace your flaws and explain to them to anyone else can. Mentioning only positive sides to people raises their skepticism.
Because, in the end, we all know that nothing is perfect, don’t we?
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Our Critical Review
Most of the business authors usually provide exercises and workbooks at the end of each chapter, or they offer summarized steps that readers can take to practice what they learned.
However, Grant takes a fresh, original approach to giving readers the needed tools, by giving direct and workable guidance at the end of his captivating book “Originals”.