There is quite a bit of buzz about Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant. It is on both the Amazon and NY Times Bestsellers list. For good reason; it provides a lot of food for thought about the way we interact and negotiate with one another. Pairing this quick synopsis with our very favorite Detroit-style Pizza Joint, Blue Pan Pizza. Your mouth will be watering and your mind will be buzzing after finishing this post.
If you love Detroit style pizza, Blue Pan Pizza is a must! Honestly, even if you don’t. We stumbled across Blue Pan during the pandemic and it is now our go to for thick crust pizza. I am not sure why in 14 years, we just found it!
The first clue to its popularity is the people waiting outside on the sidewalk, even in the dead of winter, to pick up their pizza. Starting at about 5 p.m., you will see groupings all over the sidewalk anxiously waiting for their blue and white box (es).
I was literally almost speeding to get it home last night. The minute I stepped in the door, I was grabbing a steamy, hot, gooey, cheese slipping, saucy piece of soft and crunchy square of goodness and shoving it in my mouth. There were no words. It was a couple of minutes of pure bliss.
Blue Pan does pizza and salads really well. I cannot speak for anything else on the menu as we keep it simple, every. single. time.
The number of awards granted to this pizza is too long to list. In a nutshell, it is one of the best in the world. Don’t believe me? Visit their website for the deets. There are two awesome locations to serve you in Denver and I would not be surprised if others don’t join those soon. This stuff is the real deal.
Adam Grant provides us with food for thought around our participation in negotiations and discussions where we are presented with different or varying viewpoints as well as changing facts as society changes.
First, I am going to admit that I only got halfway through the book; not because it is not amazing – it is. And, Adam shared some interesting stories and analogies. I could just tell I had reached my personal capacity on this one. And, that is ok – LOL.
2020 had the pandemic. Although that was a lot, the election for me was even more thought provoking. I pride myself on working very hard to understand different views. As The Bandit said to Frog in one of the scenes where they were discussing what they had in common in Smokey and the Bandit, “When you tell somebody somethin’, it depends on what part of the country you’re standin’ in… as to just how dumb you are.” Well, that is one of my beliefs about political and societal viewpoints. It depends from where you came as to how you feel about something.
As I kept turning the pages, I started to realize that maybe I wasn’t quite as unbiased and open to differing viewpoints as I believe I am. Maybe I get caught up in “feeling right” over “being right” as Grant discusses. It is about the “value of rethinking” constantly.
The Skinny on the Book
One of the first stories Grant shares is that of Blackberry founder, Mike Lazaridus. You remember the Blackberry – everyone had one in the 90s as their primary communications device with the fun little keyboard. Mike had for his entire life, used rethinking to question and uncover new ways of doing things. Then, he had the most successful communications company in the world and failed to recognize the power of the iPhone. No one would want to give up their keyboard, he thought. Wrong. Mike got so attached to his thoughts about his product, that he forgot to use the one skill that had gotten him where he was – rethinking things based on new data (as Grant describes, the thinking of a scientist). He ignored his employees and consequently, Blackberry fell to being only a fraction of what it once was.
Mike stopped being a scientist and fell into the mindsets of three other personalities and y’all, this is where the lightbulb went off for me:
- The Politician: Seeking to win over an audience
- The Preacher: Deliver sermons to protect and promote our ideals
- The Prosecutor: Point out flaws in others’ arguments to prove them wrong and win our case
The problem with these three is that they fail to really dig into the data and question the positions. Instead of making sure we ARE right, we want to FEEL right. How often have you done this? Think about it. I can honestly say that despite my best intentions, one of those often creeps in.
Grant goes further to describe personalities that take joy in being wrong as that means they learned something. And, the “purpose of learning isn’t to affirm our beliefs; it’s to evolve our beliefs. He isn’t saying never to be one of the three Ps above, but rather to be open to being more science mind-oriented. To question ourselves and our beliefs and their impact on our thinking.
The Bottom Line
Grant goes into so, so much more and that is for you to read and learn. The above was enough for me in my day to day life. It takes a lot more work by the way to be a scientist and also a lot more caution in discussions. However, I will say that just since I started using, I have already learned quite a bit on several different topics.
How do you feel about this? Do you find yourself being a prosecutor, preacher or politician? Be honest 🙂
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