Posted on: May 20, 2024 Posted by: Comments: 0

Have you read the bestseller Hidden Potential by Adam Grant? Do you feel like you have hidden potential, or that you could be achieving greater things? (And do you think there’s too much emphasis on people who are born high achievers versus people who become high achievers?)

Published in October 2023, Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things by Wharton organizational psychologist Adam Grant has become the number-one bestseller in Amazon’s “personal transformation” category. It’s a New York Times bestseller as well. Grant also wrote Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, about “the critical art of rethinking,” and has done a few TED Talks.

Let’s discuss Hidden Potential today!

In Grant’s point of view, the world is “obsessed with talent,” and we should assign more value to developing skills and improving ourselves — how far we’ve come versus where we are today. Not only does he focus on progress, and the value of growth mindset, but he emphasizes the importance of learning well and developing character. The goal is to unlock your hidden potential and to help others do the same.

Readers, let us know: Have you read Hidden Potential (or is it on your TBR list)? What did you think? Did it change your perspective or help you in your career?

{related: becoming a better manager: books and online resources}

By the way, it’s a great time to buy this book, because right now the Kindle price is only $4.99.

Below are a couple of excerpts to kickstart our discussion:

When we assess potential, we make the cardinal error of focusing on starting points — the abilities that are immediately visible. In a world obsessed with innate talent, we assume the people with the most promise are the ones who stand out right away. But high achievers vary dramatically in their initial aptitudes. If we judge people only by what they can do on day one, their potential remains hidden.

You can’t tell where people will land from where they begin. With the right opportunity and motivation to learn, anyone can build the skills to achieve greater things. Potential is not a matter of where you start, but of how far you travel. We need to focus less on starting points and more on distance traveled.

* * *

[Your preferred learning style] isn’t fixed, and playing only to your strengths deprives you of the opportunity to improve on your weaknesses.

The way you like to learn is what makes you comfortable, but it isn’t necessarily how you learn best. Sometimes you even learn better in the mode that makes you the most uncomfortable, because you have to work harder at it. This is the first form of courage: being brave enough to embrace discomfort and throw your learning style out the window. (from this longer excerpt that uses an example from Steve Martin’s career)

{related: great books on productivity}

What do you think, readers — either about Grant’s book or the excerpts above? Have you considered your hidden potential and how you might achieve it, or helped someone find theirs?

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