Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

| Author: Adam Grant, 2021 |

What's it all About?

With North America more divided than ever, this is perhaps one of the most relevant books of 2021. It provides a perspective and reset that we could all use.

Many of us strive for the ability to lead others with great confidence and deep knowledge. In his book, Adam Grant takes everything we thought we knew about leadership and literally gets us to “Think Again” through real-life case studies and research mega findings. He shows why you should invest more time to finding out why you might be wrong, rather than assuming that you might be right in your leadership choices.

I enjoyed this book because of my obsession with the Dunning-Kruger effect, or the idea that the more you know—or think you know—the less likely you are to uncover creative ideas or find more productive outcomes. In fact, the Dunning-Kruger effect makes you more likely to gravitate toward information which support what you already know, while moving away from anything that goes against your beliefs.

By pulling from his own experiences and providing actionable takeaways, Grant ensures you’ll be left concerned about what you might not be considering. This read will flex and grow both your emotional and intellectual muscles. You may even end up feeling better about your actions now that you’re aware of new factors. Who doesn’t like to work with people that are open to new ideas, curious, and open to feedback?

The future lies in your ability to learn. To do this, you need to stay intentional and curious about everything. This read will help you push your skills and thinking to a new level.

As leaders progress their careers, they often surround themselves with more bootlickers than boat rockers. However, it is proven that greater success and productivity comes from the foundation of meaningful relationships and teams who feel they can safely and professionally challenge ideas.

One section of Grant’s book even filled my own confirmation bias about how we are not mind readers. The better someone can discuss their emotions, the better others can understand. When both sides approach a problem with an open mind and a curiosity about how the other feels, look out! When both people are on the same page, yet unafraid to challenge the other’s perspective, you get maximized and productive outcomes.

Favourite Quote

“It’s a sign of wisdom to avoid believing every thought that enters your mind. It’s a mark of emotional intelligence to avoid internalizing every feeling that enters your heart.”

Biggest Takeaway

On a recent podcast, my guest discussed the tough balance of imposter syndrome and overconfidence. Grant’s section on confident humility and faith in our capability reminds us that we might not be even solving the right problems, let alone finding the right solutions. He highlights the importance of trusting the process, staying curious, and being open to new ideas and information. By reading this section, you’ll learn how to trust in your confidence and always show up with an open mind.

Reviewed by: Trevor Blondeel, January 10,  2022

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