Typically these posts discuss technology trends through the lens of a company’s press release about some “hot, new, breakthrough” product. Most of the time these discuss upgrades and incremental improvements. That’s all good, just unfortunately falls short of the usual marketing hype.

Sometimes I come across something important for our (yours, mine, and someone you know) personal development. Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things by Adam Grant is a must-read book. Weaving research, analysis, and stories, Grant takes us through a number of steps and processes to help us find our hidden potential. The value extends beyond ourselves to those we parent, mentor, coach, or teach. Helping others develop is a joy beyond description.

He discusses at one point the value of teaching character traits exceeds the subject matter. I appreciate the validation. I spoke for 30 years about how when training young people to become soccer referees that I was teaching beyond just the Laws of the Game. I taught those 12-15-year-olds how to show up on time, be properly equipped, make decisions, stand up for yourself in the face of the inevitable complainers. I see many on Facebook or LinkedIn who are successful engineers, teachers, coaches, and more in their own right. I hope I helped them in my own low-key way.

Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist at Wharton, where he has been the top-rated professor for seven straight years. 

To quote from the description on Bookshop.org:

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.

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