Some people have what it takes to be what Adam Grant calls “originals.” These are the people who do it differently, generate change and bring to life the ideas the rest of us might leave on the table.
But he has found that the characteristics of originals are far different from what we might expect. Here are three characteristics the organizational psychologist uncovered in his study of originals:
They are late the party.
They feel fear and doubt.
They have lots of bad ideas.
Adam Grant’s TEDtalk provides a look at how we can adapt some of the same characteristics ourselves.
To me, this also calls into question how we as managers may be thwarting the best efforts of our staff.
Have you ever:
Micromanaged the staff members who seem to be putting things off, rather than jumping in and finishing well ahead of deadline? Instead, think about how that “incubation” time gives their minds time to work out more creative solutions to a problem.
Failed to give opportunities to staffers who seemed less confident in their ideas, choosing instead to focus on those who are loud and proud? Doubting ideas means they are searching for something even better.
Let a couple of not-so-great ideas color your opinions without seeing the great ones that were waiting around the corner? The greatest masterpieces often come after dozens of less successful attempts.
What lessons do you take from Grant’s observations about originals? Do you have a story about an “original” who made an impact on your company? Share it with us.