- Mar 31, 2022
As a prestigious organizational psychologist, renowned enterprise consultant, and popular TED speaker, Adam Grant composed this book to call for the "rethinking process" amid 2020 pandemic era.
Starting with 12 firefighters death tragedy decades ago, the book presents myriad real good cases, from kindergarten education, blackberry defeated by iPhone to Columbia shutt disintegrated, alongside various data driven analysis and interesting cartoons in each chapter, shielding it from chicken soup or misleading BS.
Three sections are unfolded to cover individual, interpersonal and collective rethinking approaches respectively. Though a little repetitive, Dr. Grant shared his deep and broad knowledge in a sincere way.
The last chapter unavoidably goes to happiness and meaning pursuit, always my favorite part. In the epilogue part, 30 takeaways throughout the book have been summarized, refreshing key points and reminding us thinking again. Fundamentally, it is a book more than for business and management but about positive psychology for the life.
When we make decisions or form opinions, those could be driven by instincts, habits, assumptions, and evidences etc. Four characters would walk in our minds: a preacher, a prosecutor, a politician or a scientist, and we must know who are there and who should stay to play, resisting the temptation of an easy or impulsive judgment. And I am truly fond of this metaphor opening as it is so "Freud" style.
Dunning-Kruger effect is discussed in chapter 2, explaining the ignorance of arrogance-like "why they are so common yet so confident"- because of failing to climb over the summit of Mount Stupid. "Confident Humility" is called to cure the armchair QB syndrome or imposter fears.
To dance with foes is the best strategy when tackling interpersonal conflicts. However, the section 2 starts with a case of debate between human and machine. As a previous debater in college and a later negotiator in work, I initially battled with opponents for winning. Soon it turned out what really mattered is to convince the judges. Finally, it's understood that pursuing common interests rather than convincing divisive points in many non black-white situations. Yet, you need a matched counterpart to rethink together. A number of interpersonal skills can be learnt from this section.
Section 3 brings up many hot divisive topics in this polarizing society, while the social media and mobile IT technology have amplified binary bias, driving people go extremities with blindness of many shades of gray. So keep learning and thinking on every stage of our lives.
A special case of IQ or EQ discussion in chapter 9 is quite fascinating as I certainly don't believe EQ. People definitely have different temperaments, dispositions, tendencies, and those overall lead to each character. In most professions, as long as you perform, I would rather you pay less attention to my emotions. For hiring, I strongly recommend each company test IQ especially for senior positions. Some persons with shining educational backgrounds or even carried a non-US doctoral degree could still be idiots as the diplomats only mean they passed some tests in a discredited system.
The final chapter 11 is for rethinking in lifelong career evolution: how to pivot and avoid identity foreclosure. Through personal experience and the cousin "Ryan" rigorous medical career example, Dr. Grand calls for a regular time to checkup the possibilities and diversities of now and future, for careers and for lives, for the kids and for ourselves.