Summary of The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

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Organizational psychologist Adam Grant believes that “originals,” the unconventional thinkers who drive radical change, don’t behave as you would expect. In fact, he’s isolated three startling traits that originals share: They procrastinate, they experience self-doubt and fear, and they have lots of bad ideas. getAbstract praises Grant’s unconventional view on how these seemingly negative tendencies spur innovation.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What three habits original thinkers share,
  • Why moderate procrastinators are most creative,
  • Why “idea doubt” can drive original thinkers to improve their concepts, and
  • How failure and bad ideas can lead to success.

About the Speaker

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant, a Wharton professor, is the author of Originals and Give and Take.



When a student and his three friends asked Wharton professor Adam Grant to invest in their start-up, he passed. The entrepreneurs didn’t fit his image of true innovators: They were slow to get rolling, their website didn’t work the day before the scheduled launch, and they had jobs lined up in case their idea didn’t pan out. Today their firm, Warby Parker, is valued at more than $1 billion. “Originals,” mavericks who see the world differently, have unique ideas and drive change, but they seldom fit the populist image of an innovator. For example, they’re often procrastinators. Yet a research study found that “moderate procrastinators” are 16...

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    Joseph Wright 2 years ago
    Very interesting!
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    Rajesh Venkiteswaran 2 years ago
    Insightful. The idea of originals as procastinators is counter intuitive.