Title: Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage

Author: Laura Huang

Publisher: Portfolio, Imprint of Penguin Group

Publication Date: January 2020

Genre: Non-Fiction, Personal Development, Leadership

I am not quite sure where I first learnt about Laura Huang’s Edge but I did not give it much thought until I heard her being interviewed on HBR’s Ideacast while making dinner. I thought, “Hmmm…She seems like someone I would love to meet and chat with in real life.” So when I saw I get this ARC from Netgalley, I was delighted.

As an Asian-American woman, from an early age, she recognised that meritocracy is just not enough for her to get ahead in her career. She describes ” Edge” as a means of getting past our normalised structural bias and inequity. We must acknowledge that they play a significant part in whether or not people will be successful.

Edge is an acronym that stands for Enrich, Delight. Guide and Effort. This means you must know how to provide (additional) value to your “stakeholders” in a delightful manner. You will have to navigate your internal perceptions as well as others’ perceptions of you and the attributions about your skills, competence and character. Finally, know how to direct your effort or hard work so that you can be able to get maximum results.

Huang notes that “Gaining an ‘edge’ is not about gaming the system or relying on insincere methods but harnessing one’s personality and strengths and weaknesses to create a unique advantage.” This book is a combination of her personal experiences accompanied by research and anecdotes from others to support her theory.

What I like about this book is that she presents research and the psychology behind how we act without bogging down the reader with the details and without being overly simplistic. I enjoyed taking copious notes because there were numerous points that I need to reflect on. However, my interest in picking up the book seemed to taper off as I got to the second half of the book. Probably, because I was familiar with the material. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the personal anecdotes that breathed life into the theory.

Overall, I believe that Laura Huang’s message is timely and important and there’s no better way to pick her brain than by reading Edge. And yes, I still would love to meet her someday.

Photo Credit: Goodreads

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