“Being original doesn’t mean being first. It just means being different and better.”
Adam Grant, Originals
Most of us strive to be better. Few of us strive to be different. But what if being different is a requirement for being better? For being an original? Turns out that to take better beyond just ourselves, we have to be both. We have to be non-conformists in order to move the world, according to Adam Grant, author of Originals.
And because our goal at Horizon Point is to build a better workplace through innovative people practices, we’ve chosen Originals, our 2017 Book of the Year.
The book teaches how to become an original by:
1. Taking calculated risks. We think most innovative people have risk-taking in their DNA, but it turns out there are some guardrails around risk taking when it comes to the most successful innovators.
2. Embracing failure. Failure that leads to innovation comes from quantity of ideas not necessarily quality.
3. Embracing diversity of thought. For more on this: Diversity and Inclusion In My Eyes and In the Eyes of My Children.
4. Speaking up. You can’t be original if your ideas don’t get translated. This requires voice. More on this here.
5. “Passionately procrastinating”. For more on this: Leaders, Set Manageable Goals to Lead and Run Well.
6. Converting your enemies. Your actual enemies. Not your frienemies. There is a great example in the book to describe the difference.
7. Building commitment through purpose.
8. Getting over yourself. The ego, especially an inflated one, gets someone who could have all these other characteristics nowhere. Being authentic is required to be an original.
“In the quest for happiness, as Grant writes, “many of us choose to enjoy the world as it is. Originals embrace the uphill battle, striving to make the world what it could be.…Becoming original is not the easiest path in the pursuit of happiness, but it leaves us perfectly poised for the happiness of the pursuit.”
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