“…in search of excellence and in fear of failure, most of us opt to fit in rather than stand out.”
Stories move me but they hardly immediately change my perspective. They have to hit me intuitively and should be backed by credible data.
If there is one book that has done it magically, it’s ‘Originals’ by Adam Grant.
To begin with, the book breaks all myths that a business owner or an entrepreneur may bear in mind. It has changed my perception of being an original in so many ways that I couldn’t have imagined.
I read it a few months back and I still remember a moment where I was astonished by the way the writer had played me. Fiction books have a way of startling you, there are plots and twists and secrets, and it all makes sense for you to be shocked or surprised by some of them. But when a non-fiction book pulls the same thing off, you have to give credit to the writer. There is a section where the writer makes you a part of a social experiment and you ignorantly play along, until the experiment unfolds. I loved that part! Not going to give you any spoiler. Read it for yourself.
Then there are stories about entrepreneurs, about business cultures, about evolution of different ideas, about journeys and thought processes of originals, in different spheres of life and business.
I must say, like any interesting TV series, let’s take Suits for example, it would appear a little bit less interesting after a few pages. But then you will find that sweet spot, may be 50-60 pages into the book, where you would not let go of it until you finish it.
Have put together a few of the best lines from the book that would help me put my point across –
“Argue like you’re right and listen like you’re wrong.”
“Practice makes perfect, but it doesn’t make new.”
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw
“Conviction in our ideas is dangerous not only because it leaves us vulnerable to false positives, but also because it stops us from generating the requisite variety to reach our creative potential.”
This book is a genius compilation of the making of successful ideas and entrepreneurs and gives a sneak peek into different business cultures. The exposure to such information with no bias (which I think is the best part about the book) and all facts, makes you expand your belief systems.
I will end the article with this quote from the book, that completely turned things around for me –
“And in the long run, research shows that the mistakes we regret are not errors of commission, but errors of omission.”