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Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
The #1 New York Times bestseller that examines how people can champion new ideas—and how leaders can fight groupthink, from the author of Give and Take and co-author of Option B
“Reading Originals made me feel like I was seated across from Adam Grant at a dinner party, as one of my favorite thinkers thrilled me with his insights and his wonderfully new take on the world.” —Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and The Tipping Point
“Originals is one of the most important and captivating books I have ever read, full of surprising and powerful ideas. It will not only change the way you see the world; it might just change the way you live your life. And it could very well inspire you to change your world.” —Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In
With Give and Take, Adam Grant not only introduced a landmark new paradigm for success but also established himself as one of his generation’s most compelling and provocative thought leaders. In Originals he again addresses the challenge of improving the world, but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all?
Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can build cultures that welcome dissent. Learn from an entrepreneur who pitches his start-ups by highlighting the reasons not to invest, a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below, an analyst who overturned the rule of secrecy at the CIA, a billionaire financial wizard who fires employees for failing to criticize him, and a TV executive who didn’t even work in comedy but saved Seinfeld from the cutting-room floor. The payoff is a set of groundbreaking insights about rejecting conformity and improving the status quo.
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Adam M. Grant (born August 13, 1981) is an American psychologist and author who is currently a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania specializing in organizational psychology. He received academic tenure aged 28, making him the youngest tenured professor at the Wharton School.
Adam M. Grant was born in the township of West Bloomfield, Michigan on August 13, 1981 to a lawyer father and a teacher mother. He grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. Grant participated in springboard diving and aspired to be a professional basketball player growing up. During high school, he was named an All-American in 1999 in diving.
He received a B.A. from Harvard College, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan in organizational psychology. He worked as a professional magician during college. While in graduate school, he married his wife Allison; the couple have three children.
Grant was hired by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to serve as an assistant professor for organizational behavior in 2007. After publishing several papers in academic journals, he was hired as an associate professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, becoming the school's youngest tenured professor at age 28. He was ranked by students the best professor at the university from 2011 to 2017. In 2013, he wrote his first book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success. As his first published book on organizational psychology, it explored the dynamics behind collaboration, negotiation, and networking in business. The book went on to be translated in twenty-seven languages. Susan Dominus of The New York Times states that his book "incorporated scores of studies and personal case histories that suggest the benefits of an attitude of extreme giving at work." In recognition for his work, Grant was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a Thinkers50 Most Influential Global Management Thinker in 2015.
A year later his second book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, was published. This study looked at the benefits for pursuing artistic avocations, constantly improving rather than constantly innovating business practices, and the benefits of procrastination. The book became a New York Times bestseller and inspired a TED talk on the habits of original thinkers. Reviews of the book were mixed. While Scientific American praised Grant's work, The Guardian was more critical, commenting: "At times, Grant could be accused of straying off-topic, especially when he is dispensing advice. Children taught how their bad behaviour affects others develop a moral sensibility lacking in those who are merely admonished, he writes, without providing a clear link to the concept of originality." He was named to Fortune's 40 under 40 the same year. In 2017, he co-authored his third book with Facebook Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy. The book focused on Grant's close relationship with his co-author and her resilience after her husband's sudden death at a Mexican resort.
On August 8, 2017, a software engineer from Google, James Damore, published his controversial 10-page manifesto that argued that there were a range of reasons why men were the majority demographic at Google. Grant published a rebuff on LinkedIn which was featured on CNBC. In his rebuff, he outlined modern consensus among social scientists that believe there is "little to no" differences between the sexes in technical abilities.