The assumption that metrics comparing us to an average—like GPAs, personality test results, and performance review ratings—reveal something meaningful about our potential is so ingrained in our consciousness that we don't even question it. That assumption, says Harvard's Todd Rose, is spectacularly—and scientifically—wrong.
In The End of Average, Rose, a rising star in the new field of the science of the individual, shows that no one is average. Not you. Not your kids. Not your employees. This isn't hollow sloganeering—it's a mathematical fact with enormous practical consequences.
But while we know people learn and develop in distinctive ways, these unique patterns of behaviors are lost in our schools and businesses, which have been designed around the mythical "average person". This average-size-fits-all model ignores our differences and fails at recognizing talent. It's time to change it.
Weaving science, history, and his personal experiences as a high school dropout, Rose offers a powerful alternative to understanding individuals through averages: the three principles of individuality. The jaggedness principle (talent is always jagged), the context principle (traits are a myth), and the pathways principle (we all walk the road less traveled) help us understand our true uniqueness - and that of others - and how to take full advantage of individuality to gain an edge in life.
Listen to this powerful manifesto in the ranks of Drive, Quiet, and Mindset - and you won't see averages or talent in the same way again.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mr. P. Duffield on 02-09-16
Compelling and Eye-Opening but Hyperbolic
Both the strength and the weakness of this book is that it weaves such a strong narrative around its central thesis: using averages to understand people is seductive and pervasive, but ultimately destructive, and it's only by truly understanding the individual that we can make progress.
The quality of the narration reflects my reservation with the book as a whole. It's excellently and confidently read, but the tone it's presented in strikes an uncomfortable balance between a popular science book and a 5-steps-to-success style self-improvement manual. I found myself flicking between being astounded by the exposé of how "averagarian" thinking pervades our lives, and wincing at the overstretching the book does to tie the wide-ranging topics it covers into a single timeline of cause and effect.
This unwavering structure certainly makes for a focused and compelling read, but also overcooks the message and leans on some ungrounded generalizations. The constant inference that runs throughout is that the book's solutions to the very real problems it investigates are THE solutions to personal well-being, financial success and social harmony. Ironically, as it introduces you to a range of genuinely fascinating and paradigm-shifting ideas, the book itself can provide you with the critical framework needed to question its own sweeping conclusions.
Hyperbolic presentation aside, the ideas contained within are presented with clarity, backed up with references to fascinating studies and real-world examples, and clearly ARE powerful tools for understanding... potentially even revolutionary ones. It's the sort of read that makes you want to stop every few paragraphs to tell someone the mind-blowingly simple idea you've just discovered, or recount the results of a startling psychological study.
I truly hope the precepts of individualism that this book presents spread. But I also hope that they're not treated as the one-range-of-sizes-fit-all solutions that they're presented as, or the future might render them as limiting as the once-compelling ideas of averagearianism that they aim to replace. It would be a shame if 100 years from now your kids are reading "The End of the Individual: How We Progress in a World That Can't See Beyond the Singular".
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Doc on 14-11-17
My first book in Audible and I got hooked
This is the first book I purchased from Audible. I started “reading” on Thursday and finished it on Saturday. It’s rare that I am able to finish a book in 3 days but I got hooked because of the content and the narration quality. I am not good at listening but I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to focus and concentrate on this book. In those three days, I was able to repeat several chapters that I needed to review, considering I was reading during work breaks and commute. I just found the format of a narrated book very convenient. I am convinced about the idea of average being broken. I like how Todd Rose presented the theoretical foundations that support the principles he presented. I like the examples because they gave me a clear handle on implementing the principles in real life. I highly recommend this book to all who want to recognize and develop the talents of others and their own.
AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Tim Welch on 10-03-16
A must read for school administrators
I really think that many school administrators should read this book. Perhaps they could find ways to change the overall structure of our institutions in a way that honors the individuality of each and every student and leads to better success. I also believe that the pathways principal is an obvious part of education that honors our individuality. Competencies and credentialing are the coming age.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful