Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage
By Khadija Azhar
While most self-help books make interesting bedside reads, they seldom offer much more than repetitive–often unsubstantiated–advice.
Enter Edge. Written by Harvard Business School professor Laura Huang, the book distills years of award-winning research into actionable suggestions on positioning yourself for success in any sphere of life. It promises to “show how you can harness your personality and strengths–and even your weaknesses–to create a unique edge.”
As a child of immigrant parents living in the U.S., Huang is no stranger to bias and the obstacles it can create. In her experience, however, success is about manipulating prejudice to work in your favor. Right from the outset, she draws the reader in with a convincing testimonial to her method, recounting an incredible story about how she “gained an edge” over Elon Musk. Once you’re roped in, the book becomes difficult to put down.
Sectioned into four parts, Edge intends to teach you how to “Enrich” the lives of those around you, “Delight” them into trusting your skills, “Guide” how they perceive you and in doing so, amplify the outcome of your ‘Effort.’ Huang sprinkles each section with real-life examples of Olympians and entrepreneurs who turned their fortunes around. However, she goes a step further in connecting with her readers and supplements these examples with stories that the average person would find more relatable, including relevant personal anecdotes.
Although she relies on scientific research, her insights are easily digestible. She doesn’t posit success as a code to crack, but emphasizes its contingency on both internal and external factors. Her method explains how internal skills can be honed to overpower any perceptions that predispose us to failure. At its core, Edge directs the reader to understand themselves as a first step, and that is exactly what makes it an engaging read.