Give and Take by Adam Grant Part 4 – finding the diamond in the rough

Give and Take by Adam Grant Part 4 – finding the diamond in the rough

IPart 1 I Part 2 I Part 3 I Part 4 I

Skender  is a teacher of accounting.  His students always performed very well.   He had the skill of recognizing potential.  He is not unusual in recognizing talent people; he simply starts by seeing everyone as talented and tried to bring out the best in them.

Polishing the diamond in the rough – Skender’s approach  contrasts with most companies when it comes to leadership models: identify high potential people, and then provided them with mentoring and support and the resources needed to grow to achieve their potential.  He made sure priorities were in order, would not allow people to throw in the towel, he invested in people, sent them letters, followed them up and encouraged people to spend time in practice.  Elsewhere  they need “grit” : having passion and strive toward long term goals.

Throwing good money after bad talent –tells a few stories about recruiting basketball players and not picking Michael  Jordan and then holding onto players longer than they should have given their performance.

Facing the mirror; looking good or doing good – what makes leaders make bad decisions? This can lead to  an escalation of commitment  to a losing course of action.

Glimpsing glimmers in chunks of coal – take time not to prejudge people but see them as they really are.



Skender’s approach to finding people’s potential is so important.  Also when you allow people wings in terms of ideas it is also important in schools to allow them to have the opportunity to try out their ideas.

Life and running

You don’ t have to be the best at something to have potential recognized and acted upon.  If this was the case I would never have done an Ironman – but I had the potential to complete one.

Creative Process

Sometimes in the creative process you need to be able to stop and even back up.  This is brought home with the different examples about throwing good money after bad talent after the original commitment. Are you looking  good or doing good – nice quote.

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