Saul P. Steinberg Professor of Management and Professor of Psychology, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
We hear about successful nonconformists – people who buck the trend and enjoy great acclaim in fields like politics, comedy, science, sports, and business – and we assume certain things about them. They’re geniuses. They’re born leaders. They’re self-assured and embrace risk. They are chock-full of great ideas. In short, they are something other than the rest of us.
In his new book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, Adam Grant, Ph.D. (FAN ’14) debunks these assumptions. After spending the last dozen years studying the common habits of many trailblazers, Dr. Grant has found that they share some counterintuitive characteristics. They tend to be expert procrastinators; are often late bloomers and late adopters; usually have only moderate expertise in their given field but a wide range of outside interests; produce a few good ideas culled from excessive brainstorming; and are actually more cautious than their colleagues. They are as self-doubting as the rest of us, but they’ve learned how to move forward in the face of their fears.