Adam Grant explores the concept of originality and how people, organizations and parents can nurture originality. As a parent, I was drawn to his comments on parenting and teachers’ influence on creativity. He busts some common myths, for example, fear of failure and risk – successfully entrepreneurs are afraid of failure and most of them hedged their risk and opted for the safest option. They don’t go all out without a careful analysis and managing the risk. Or that procrastination is not always bad, really? I do this frequently. Or that quantity predicts the path to quality, in other words, original thinkers will come up with many dud ideas before they hit a jackpot with the few that become novel ideas and succeed. Also Intuition only works if one is an expert in the field – well, this is not so good news because many of us rely on intuition on many things that we know very little about.
Most importantly, and I kind of agree, is that you need “idiosyncrasy credibility” – the latitude that people give you to deviate from a group’s expectations, or simply the power to do as you please. If you try to do this i.e., exert influence before you earn respect, people view you negatively, like a difficult person, coercive or self-serving. So be warned!