Book Review: ‘Hidden Potential’ by Adam Grant

Discover Your Hidden Potential with Adam Grant

Book Title: Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things
Author: Adam Grant
Publisher: WH Allen
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 978-0753560051
Date Published: Jan. 1, 2023
Price: INR 523

Hidden Potential by Adam Grant Book Cover

Book Review

In “Hidden Potential,” Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist and professor at Wharton Business School, takes a unique approach to exploring the concept of potential. Rather than introducing new research or groundbreaking concepts, Grant skillfully weaves together existing studies and ideas, creating a compelling case for uncovering hidden potential. The book serves as a guide on how individuals can extract more from themselves, and others, and the systems that have the potential for broader application.

Grant’s writing style is both easy to read and captivating, employing storytelling to elucidate psychological points and concepts clearly. While the book may not be filled with sudden revelations, it is brimming with memorable insights that prompt readers to think, “I must remember that.” Grant’s storytelling prowess makes the subject matter come alive, leaving readers yearning for educators who can breathe life into academic subjects with engaging narratives.

Key takeaways from the book include the perspective that potential is not determined by one’s starting point but by the distance traveled. Grant emphasizes that major strides are not exclusive to nature’s outliers but often result from nurturing. He explores the concept of discomfort as a catalyst for growth, urging individuals to embrace and seek discomfort as a marker of progress.

The distinction between personality and character is another focal point, with Grant emphasizing that personality is a predisposition, while character is the capacity to prioritize values over instincts. He challenges the pitfalls of perfectionism, revealing how it impedes progress by fixating on irrelevant details and avoiding challenges.

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Motivation, according to Grant, is fueled by a sense of progress, and he advocates for detours to new destinations when faced with challenges. In the realm of leadership, he highlights the significance of amplifying voices and building systems to elevate messengers, contrasting weak leaders who silence voices with strong leaders who welcome and appreciate dissent. Grant concludes with a profound perspective on success, asserting that it transcends mere goal achievement and lies in living one’s values. He contends that aspiring to be better each day and unleashing hidden potential are the highest values one can embrace.

Overall, “Hidden Potential” offers a refreshing take on personal and professional development, emphasizing learnable skills, sustained motivation, and systemic opportunities. With millions of copies sold of his previous works, Grant’s latest book encourages readers to look beyond innate genius and monumental achievements, advocating for a focus on the journey of growth and progress.

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