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Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World Hardcover – 1 January 1900
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"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becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions.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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--The New York Times Book Review "Fresh research, counter-intuitive insights, lively writing, practical calls to action . . . Grant has a deserved reputation as an original thinker."
--The Financial Times "Grant's latest looks set to join the required reading lists of many companies across America."
--Wired.com "[Grant] examines what successful non-conformists . . . have in common, all in an effort to help the rest of us learn how to do things like bust myths, speak truth to power, and avoid groupthink without getting sidelined."
--The Washington Post "Adam Grant is a serious social scientist, master storyteller and infectious optimist. . . . Originals is filled with fresh insights on a broad array of topics that are important to our personal and professional lives. Mr. Grant has an uncanny ability to infuse a familiar topic with deeper meaning and leave the reader feeling hopeful and a little exhilarated."
--The New York Times DealBook "This extraordinary, wildly entertaining book sheds new light on the Age of Disruption. What does it take to make a meaningful difference? And how can you apply this insight to your own life? By debunking myths of success stories, challenging long-held beliefs of process, and finding commonality among those who are agents of profound change, Adam Grant gives us a powerful new perspective on not just our place in the world, but our potential to shake it up entirely."
--JJ Abrams, director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, co-creator and executive producer of Lost, and cofounder of Bad Robot
"After launching hundreds of businesses--from airlines to trains, music to mobile, and now a spaceline--my biggest challenges and successes have come from convincing other people to see the world differently. Originals reveals how that can be done and will help you inspire creativity and change."
--Sir Richard Branson, founder of The Virgin Group "Originals is a fascinating, eye-opening read that will help you not just recognize your own unique gifts, but find the strength to challenge conventional wisdom to bring them to life. Using surprising studies and riveting stories, Adam Grant brilliantly shows us how to champion new ideas, bust persistent myths that hold us back and change not only our lives, but our world."
--Arianna Huffington, cofounder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, and author of Thrive "It can sometimes seem as if one must learn everything old before one can try anything new. Adam Grant does a masterful job showing that is not the case; we are lucky to have him as a guide."
--Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and Palantir, and author of Zero to One "An urgent must read, a seminal work that will surprise you on every single page. Adam Grant has reset our expectations for what it means to be creative and what's required to make a difference. Share it with someone you care about."
--Seth Godin, author of Linchpin Praise for Give and Take "As brilliant as it is wise, this is not just a book--it's a new and shining worldview. Adam Grant is one of the great social scientists of our time, and Give and Take is brimming with life-changing insights."
--Susan Cain, author of Quiet "Give and Take is a truly exhilarating book--the rare work that will shatter your assumptions about how the world works and keep your brain firing for weeks after you've turned the last page."
--Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and To Sell Is Human "I love Give and Take, which shows that givers get ahead and nice guys don't finish last."
--Arianna Huffington, author of Thrive and president of the Huffington Post Media Group "Now shaking up the business world: science that may change the way the world does business."
--Willie Geist, Today show "Adam Grant's Give and Take is an excellent book. Hard work, luck, and talent are important, but giving makes the difference."
--Alex Stubb, prime minister of Finland "Give and Take is like a fundamental outline as to how to be successful. . . . Highly recommended read."
--Ashton Kutcher, actor, director, and technology investor "Give and Take is a very interesting book. . . . I can't put it down."
--Ryan Seacrest, host of American Idol "Give and Take just might be the most important book of this young century. As insightful and entertaining as Malcolm Gladwell at his best, this book has profound implications for how we manage our careers, deal with our friends and relatives, raise our children, and design our institutions. This gem is a joy to read, and it shatters the myth that greed is the path to success."
--Robert Sutton, author of The No *sshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss
About the Author
- Publisher : Viking (1 January 1900)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0525429565
- ISBN-13 : 978-0525429562
- Dimensions : 16.05 x 2.9 x 23.62 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 180,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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It could have been a 5 star book, but struggles for a few reasons. Firstly, it wanders around bringing in some topics which seem to have little to do with the topic of originality. The second issue is similar, it can't seem to decide if it wants to be a book about originality in the situation of entrepreneurship and business, or originality in terms of wider creativity and innovation. Thirdly, some of the examples used seem to be of successful businesses, but I struggle to see them as hugely original. Finally, the perennial problem of many business books - its very US centric. Don't get me wrong I've got no problem with the US and many of us can learn a lot from US businesses, but there is a wider world out there with plenty of originals in it!
An easy read, some useful information, but it does not really live up to the original promise. Still, the good bits and quite good, so it manages 3 stars from me.
When I bought this book I thought that it would just contain a number of true stories about original thinkers and how they changed the world. Adam Grant's writings are all that but much more. Originals is really a manual on how to efficiently and effectively promote, develop and manage organisations. In this book Grant explores and explains tried and proven methods of influencing people and achieving significant results, whether your aim is starting a new business, managing a political organisation or trying to assert influence on any large body with a fixed mindset.
Grant begins his book with the true story of the creation of Warby Parker, a mail-order firm which provides spectacles for millions of customers in the United States. The company's founders succeeded despite the grave reservations from friends and many people within the eye-care industry. They prospered because they were not afraid to challenge the status quo and the rigid thinking which was prevalent at the time. After doing their research they realised that they could provide quality spectacles at a much lower price than their competitors. They were original thinkers.
Grant then goes on to demonstrate original thinking influenced everything, from the civil right movement to the high success rate of a top investment company. An original thinker also completely changed the culture within the US security services.
But, like I said, this book is a manual: it provides practical advice on how to effectively promote an idea, or how to form a political coalition, or how to deal with stressful situations. Much of the advice appears to be counter-intuitive; for instance, when carrying out a presentation for a new product Grant believes that you should begin by emphasising the product's WEAK points! And coalitions are best formed not with people with the same aims, but with similar methods. The writer also believes that you can sell ideas more effectively by toning down and even disguising the true nature of your idea. Grant provides practical examples where these methods have worked. I found the most interesting of Grant's ideas was his promotion of dissent within organisations. He gives the example of a large company called Bridgewater, where its CEO actively encourages the firm's workers to criticise everybody, including himself. The company actively sought out the most critical people within the business.
Towards the end of the book Grant demonstrates how even revolutions have been brought about by using tactics which at first don't appear the be very effective. Sometimes laughing at dictators is the best way to oust them. This piece of work is crammed with advice which is backed up with clinical psychological research. I found it to be absolutely fascinating.
If you are thinking of starting up a new business, or if your are a senior manager in a large company or organisation then this book is a must-read. It will change they way you think about doing things.
Key insight 2: we are all originals and can actively improve our creativity using certain principles. He doesn't say that this will turn us into outstanding creative geniuses whose work will live forever but he does point out that we can be more creative and innovative and it isn't a matter of hanging around waiting for inspiration to strike
Downside: annoying Americanisms and a modern tendency to overdo the anecdotes BUT he does have some evidence-based stuff too
Overall: well worth reading and much better than most self-help/business guru stuff. Buy it or borrow it
- lots of counter intuitive wisdom nuggets
- interesting and engaging stories
- you can get a lot out of reading this regardless of your background
- If you are looking for specific content (such as the science behind creativity), this read will be too generic