#1 New York Times Bestseller
“This brilliant book will shatter your assumptions about what it takes to improve and succeed. I wish I could go back in time and gift it to my younger self. It would’ve helped me find a more joyful path to progress.”
—Serena Williams, 23-time Grand Slam singles tennis champion
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again illuminates how we can elevate ourselves and others to unexpected heights.
We live in a world that’s obsessed with talent. We celebrate gifted students in school, natural athletes in sports, and child prodigies in music. But admiring people who start out with innate advantages leads us to overlook the distance we ourselves can travel. We underestimate the range of skills that we can learn and how good we can become. We can all improve at improving. And when opportunity doesn’t knock, there are ways to build a door.
Hidden Potential offers a new framework for raising aspirations and exceeding expectations. Adam Grant weaves together groundbreaking evidence, surprising insights, and vivid storytelling that takes us from the classroom to the boardroom, the playground to the Olympics, and underground to outer space. He shows that progress depends less on how hard you work than how well you learn. Growth is not about the genius you possess—it’s about the character you develop. Grant explores how to build the character skills and motivational structures to realize our own potential, and how to design systems that create opportunities for those who have been underrated and overlooked.
Many writers have chronicled the habits of superstars who accomplish great things. This book reveals how anyone can rise to achieve greater things. The true measure of your potential is not the height of the peak you’ve reached, but how far you’ve climbed to get there.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This informative read proves that talent and intelligence are not strictly the domain of prodigies and Ivy League graduates. In his fascinating book, organizational psychologist Adam Grant cites example after example of late bloomers, outliers, and self-taught experts—like deaf Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie and Japanese architect Tadao Ando—who defied expectations and forged their own paths to excellence. He focuses on three key areas that factor more heavily into success than pedigree: character skills, structure, and opportunity. We found this not just illuminating but inspiring. In one example, he describes the cascading benefits that we get from assisting others as a mentor, coach, teacher, or even older sibling. Hidden Potential provides ample motivation to keep pushing beyond your comfort zone to unlock the best of your abilities.
"You don't have to be a wunderkind to accomplish great things," according to this stimulating if inconclusive study. Drawing lessons from the stories of high achievers, bestseller Grant (Think Again), an organizational psychologist at the Wharton School, contends that realizing one's potential requires getting "comfortable being uncomfortable" and recounts how Steve Martin bombed gig after gig as a young comic in the 1960s until he decided to overcome his reluctance to writing jokes (rather than improvising onstage) by writing for a variety show. Elsewhere, Grant emphasizes the importance of rethinking one's strategy after failure, describing how pitcher R.A. Dickey bounced between the major and minor leagues before polishing his knuckleball and making it central to his game, which helped him rise to the top of MLB in the 2010s. Grant is a talented storyteller, though his reliance on anecdotal evidence leaves some doubt as to the replicability of the advice. He's more successful in his data-driven exploration of how to design social systems to bring out the best in people; for instance, he points out research showing that Finland's practice of making psychologists and social workers available to struggling students leads to better education outcomes. This intrigues, even if it doesn't always convince.