Turning Adversity into Advantage
How do you get a competitive “edge” at work and in life? Star business professor Laura Huang says that we don’t need to change ourselves to get the upper hand: we can simply make the most of who we already are. Laura teaches us how to use everything, even our perceived flaws and the systemic biases that hold us back, to our advantage. Laura’s insights into edge will help us overcome adversity by flipping unfair stereotypes on their head and turning obstacles into assets. If we combine our edge with hard work—Laura’s revolutionary idea of “hard work, plus”—we’ll have the tools to compete and win.
“We’re all looking for an edge. But where does it come from? Laura Huang provides the answers. Be authentic and distinct. Provide value to others. And turn adversity into advantage.”— Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human
How do we find the elusive “edge” that will help us gain success? We don’t need to go searching too far, says Laura Huang, acclaimed business professor and author of Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage. If we learn more about our strengths and weaknesses and put them both to work with grit and determination, we can empower ourselves to create personal success—and find our edge. Laura’s talks teach us how to use that edge in a strategic way, drawing on examples from Olympians to Louis Vuitton assistants-turned-executives; along the way, she’ll show you that staying sharp means understanding and building on everything about yourself, even the flaws that you thought would be an obstacle.
In the working world, others may misunderstand or stereotype us as less capable. But this very disadvantage is what gives us the opportunity to shape the relationships and connections we make. We can learn to flip these stereotypes into something that propels us to success. Laura shows us how understanding how others perceive us will set us up to achieve more, and how communicating well creates an environment where we can use our edge and stay sharp. She teaches us practical strategies for making our differences work for us. Laura’s ground-breaking research also includes her work on “gut feel”—that sixth sense often written off as fake. She conducted dozens of interviews with investors and entrepreneurs, revealing the vital role that gut feel plays in managing complexity and risk—and the difference between big wins and playing it safe.
Laura has never played it safe in her own life, from her work at Harvard to her years as a high-powered consultant. New York Times bestselling author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz says that Laura shows us how to “take control of our toughest challenges with poise and authenticity”, giving all of us a model for what it means to use our natural talents to the fullest. She’s a professor at Harvard Business School, where she studies relationships and bias in entrepreneurship and at the workplace. She was named one of the 40 Best Business School Professors Under the Age of 40 by Poets and Quants. Laura has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, and Financial Times, where she’s changing the way that we think about ourselves.
Biases and inaccurate perceptions exist in the workplace. But if we find our edge and flip the narrative, we can use these perceptions to our advantage and create an inclusive organizational culture of belongingness. In this talk, Laura Huang explores the research that’s been done on workplace culture and organizational climate, and shows us the actions we can take to make a difference. She empowers us with practical tools and tactics to leverage our diverse backgrounds and career paths to support, inspire and make a sustainable impact. Laura shows us how we can communicate clearly, develop an inclusive culture from the outside and from the inside, and foster an environment where everyone can bring their unique edge to work.