Todd Rose is the co-founder of Populace, a social impact organization dedicated to advancing our understanding of individuality to transform how we learn, work, and live so that all people can live fulfilling lives in a thriving society. He is also the director of the Mind, Brain, and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he leads the Laboratory for the Science of Individuality. Todd is the author of Dark Horse with Ogi Ogas and the bestselling The End of Average.
Todd was born and raised in northern Utah. After dropping out of high school, he obtained his GED and started attending night classes at Weber State University. He eventually received his Doctorate in Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He lives in Burlington, Massachusetts.
Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard: Todd Rose (A frank look into Todd Rose's life journey. Language and/or stories may be offensive to some.)
For generations, we've been stuck with a cookie-cutter mold for success that requires us to be the same as everyone else, only better. This "standard formula" works for some people but leaves most of us feeling disengaged and frustrated. As much as we might dislike the standard formula, it seems like there's no other practical path to financial security and a fulfilling life. But what if there is?
In the Dark Horse Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, bestselling author and acclaimed thought leader Todd Rose and neuroscientist Ogi Ogas studied women and men who achieved impressive success even though nobody saw them coming. Dark horses blaze their own trail to a life of happiness and prosperity. Yet what is so remarkable is that hidden inside their seemingly one-of-a-kind journeys are practical principles for achieving success that work for anyone, no matter who you are or what you hope to achieve. This mold-breaking approach doesn't depend on you SAT scores, who you know, or how much money you have. The secret is a mindset that can be expressed in plain English: Harness your individuality in the pursuit of fulfillment to achieve excellence.
In Dark Horse, Rose and Ogas show how the four elements of the dark horse mindset empower you to consistently make the right choices that fit your unique interests, abilities, and circumstances and will guide you to a life of passion, purpose, and achievement.
Are you above average? Is your child an A student? Is your employee an introvert or an extrovert? Every day we are measured against the yardstick of averages, judged according to how closely we come to it or how far we deviate from it.
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.
Read this powerful manifesto in the ranks of Drive, Quiet, and Mindset—and you won’t see averages or talent in the same way again.