Adam Grant

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Looking for the good in others doesn’t make you naive. It means you’re not cynical. Recognizing people’s strengths doesn’t deny their flaws. It reveals their potential to overcome their flaws. Those who refuse to see the good in others fail to bring out the best in others.
A sign of character is focusing more on how you treat others than how they treat you. Narcissists feel entitled to get respect. They aim to be the most important person in every room. Humble people strive to show respect. They aim to make everyone in the room feel important.
The evidence is clear: open offices are bad for people and organizations. -27% more sick days -14% lower cognitive performance -70% less face-to-face interaction For the sake of health, productivity, and collaboration, let's design spaces with doors. nytimes.com/2022/09/08/opi…
Following your passion is a luxury. Following your values is a necessity. Passion is a fickle magnet: it pulls you toward your current interests. Values are a steady compass: they point you toward a future purpose. Passion brings immediate joy. Values provide lasting meaning.
It’s enjoyable to learn from others. It’s invigorating to learn with others. A good conversation opens your eyes to new thoughts. A great conversation opens your mind to new ways of thinking. Introducing my new weekly podcast, Re:Thinking: link.chtbl.com/RTAdam
The pressure to be extraverted starts when children are young. Data: before their infants turn 1, mothers already hope they'll be extraverted—even more than smart, hardworking, and friendly. Introversion isn't a lack of engagement. It's a quieter way of engaging with the world.
Impostor syndrome isn't a disease. It's a normal response to internalizing impossibly high standards. Doubting yourself doesn't mean you're going to fail. It usually means you're facing a new challenge and you're going to learn. Feeling uncertainty is a precursor to growth.
How soon should you leave a toxic workplace? As soon as you can—and sooner than you think. There's no amount of hazard pay that justifies feeling browbeaten and broken. Not every job is a source of joy and meaning, but your work shouldn't cost you your health and well-being.
In burnout cultures, people are judged by the sacrifices they make. Hobbies, vacations, and even family time are viewed as distractions to penalize. In healthy cultures, people are judged by the commitments they keep. Interests outside work are seen as passions to celebrate.
Diversity is smarter than homogeneity. New data on 6.6 million science papers in all 45 subfields of medicine: mixed-gender teams generate more novel and influential work than same-gender teams. Similarity breeds groupthink. Variety fuels deeper reflection and broader learning.
One of our greatest mistakes is imposing our suffering on the next generation. The fact that you endured unreasonable demands and unclear expectations doesn't mean others should. The responsibility of leaders is not to repeat the errors of the past. It's to improve the future.
Many arguments get heated not because our opinions clash, but because we fail to show that we care. In conflict, the most important step isn't to defend your position. It's to reinforce your relationship. It's easier to accept that you're not like-minded if you're like-hearted.
"That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it" is a self-limiting way to live. People who never let go of their views never evolve. Growth is not just about embracing new ideas. It's also about rethinking old ones. Refusing to change your mind is a decision to stop learning.
The #1 upside of working from home is not flexibility. It's avoiding the hassle of schlepping to work. The spike in remote & hybrid work is eliminating ~200 million weekly commuting hours in the U.S. alone. Time is our scarcest resource. Saving time is our most valued benefit.
Downplaying your achievements is not the antidote to appearing arrogant. Humility is acknowledging your weaknesses, not denying your strengths. Generosity is elevating others, not diminishing yourself. Owning your success doesn't make you a narcissist—it makes you a role model.
When groups meet to brainstorm, good ideas are lost. People bite their tongues due to conformity pressure, noise, and ego threat. A better approach is brainwriting: generate ideas separately, then meet to assess and refine. Group wisdom begins with individual creativity.
It's a mistake to unfollow people for disagreeing with your views. The voices that challenge your opinions often sharpen your thinking. The cue to stop listening is not dissent—it's disrespect. Tuning out trolls and tuning into thoughtful critics is how you keep an open mind.
Day by day, it's tempting to sacrifice well-being for success. Pushing past exhaustion brings short-term rewards. Over time, well-being is vital to success. Daily exhaustion adds up to long-term burnout. Success can be attained without rest, but it isn't sustained without rest.
"Quiet quitting" isn't laziness. Doing the bare minimum is a common response to bullshit jobs, abusive bosses, and low pay. When they don't feel cared about, people eventually stop caring. If you want them to go the extra mile, start with meaningful work, respect, and fair pay.
Repeat after me: good communication requires repetition. Data: leaders are 9x more likely to be criticized for undercommunicating than overcommunicating. Those who say too little come across as unclear and uncaring. When you're tired of your message, it's just starting to land.
Parents try to teach values in conversation, but children learn more by observation. No matter what we say, kids discover what matters to us by watching what we do. Where we focus tells them what we prize. A key to being a good role model is paying attention to your attention.
Worrying doesn’t mean you’re neurotic. It’s a sign that you care—and a strategy to prepare. If you don’t anticipate problems, you can’t prevent them. If you never sweat the small stuff, you don’t practice for the big stuff. In uncertain times, concern can build resilience.
Competence can be gauged from a distance. Character is best observed up close. Skills are visible in the work people produce. You don't know their values until you see how they treat others. What people say reflects how they want to be seen. What they do reveals who they are.
In toxic cultures, time off is a reward earned by working to exhaustion. Burnout is proof of commitment, and vacations are required to recover. In healthy cultures, time off is a right granted to everyone. Well-being is a top priority, and vacations are encouraged to rejuvenate.
Being judgmental is not about how quickly you form opinions. It’s how certain you are of them. Strong convictions from weak info reflect arrogance. Holding views lightly and revising them rapidly reveals humility. Wisdom often ends in a question mark, not an exclamation point.
Feeling unsteady is not a sign of instability. It's often a path to progress. Standing still feels secure, but gaining momentum to move forward requires tilt or sway. Walking is controlled falling. Being in equilibrium breeds comfort. Feeling off balance leads to growth.
When people share their problems, they're not always looking for solutions. They're often seeking support. Sharing bad news may not make them feel better, but it does bring you closer. The most basic form of compassion is not alleviating distress. It's acknowledging distress.
When you follow a leader, consider what would lead you to withdraw your support. If the answer is nothing, your integrity is in jeopardy. Your highest loyalty belongs to principles, not people. No leader deserves unconditional love. Commitment is earned through character.
The point of seeking advice isn't to follow it blindly. It's to make sure you're thinking clearly. People give guidance from what works for them. It may or may not apply to you. The more their values and goals differ from yours, the more you should take it with a grain of salt.
Hey leaders: If people aren't coming to the office, look in the mirror. They're not avoiding work. They’re avoiding toxic cultures, micromanagers, constant interruptions, and countless hours wasted commuting. If you want people to show up more often, make it worth the trip.
The main reason people reject science isn't political ideology. It's a lack of critical thinking. Data: across the political spectrum, more sophisticated thinkers were generally more accurate in evaluating evidence. Teaching reasoning skills is a key to depolarization.
Falling short of a goal doesn't mean failure. Often it's progress. 14 experiments, 10k people: people counted results that didn't meet targets as losses—even if they were gains. The key measure of success isn't reaching your destination. It's improving from your starting point.
If you wait until you feel ready to take on a new challenge, you might never pursue it at all. Few people wake up suddenly feeling prepared to lead or create. They become prepared by taking the leap anyway. Our greatest regrets are not our failures, but our failures to try.
“That’s just the way I am” is a missed opportunity for growth. Personality is not your destiny. It’s your tendency. No one is limited to a single way of thinking, feeling, or acting. Who you become is not about the traits you have. It's what you decide to do with them.
Scars are more than evidence of trauma. They're proof of resilience. What doesn't kill you doesn't always make you stronger. Sometimes it reveals strength you didn't realize you had. Pain is not just a teacher. It's a relic—a reminder of your ability to withstand adversity.
We should agree to disagree more often. Avoiding minor arguments is a missed opportunity for learning. It takes practice to manage emotions, maintain respect, and rethink opinions. The best way to prepare for big debates is to train with small ones. theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2…
Being alone with your thoughts is more pleasant than you think. 6 experiments: we underestimate how much we'll enjoy sitting in an empty room. Surprisingly, thinking is just as engaging as checking the news. Time flies when you’re busy, but pausing to reflect can be fun.
Many people procrastinate because they're waiting for their motivation to rise. They forget that getting started is what leads their motivation to rise. Passion is not a prerequisite for progress. It's often the result of progress.
Working when you’re sick is not a symbol of commitment. It’s a symptom of a sick culture. In toxic workplaces, rest is a sign of weakness. You're expected to sacrifice yourself for your job. In healthy cultures, rest is a source of strength. Wellness is vital to doing your job.
Impostor syndrome: “I don't know what I'm doing. It's only a matter of time until everyone finds out." Growth mindset: "I don't know what I'm doing yet. It's only a matter of time until I figure it out." The highest form of self-confidence is believing in your ability to learn.
Writing isn't what you do after you have an idea. It's how you develop an inkling into an insight. Turning thoughts into words sharpens reasoning. What's fuzzy in your head is clear on the page. "I'm not a writer" shouldn't stop you from writing. Writing is a tool for thinking.
What others say doesn't directly affect your emotions. Between their words and your feelings is your interpretation of their intention. Agency lies in the space between stimulus and response. A sign of emotional intelligence is recognizing your power to change your assumptions.
Depression has many causes and many treatments. Attributing it solely to a chemical imbalance in the brain does people a disservice. It leads them to doubt the value of therapy and the efficacy of behavior change. We all need meaning, control, connection, and hope in our lives.
On mental health, many leaders are still out of touch. The vast majority of execs think they're caring and employees are thriving. Nearly half their people disagree. Caring is more than showing concern. It's reaching out to see who's hurting and taking action to help them heal.
Employees are not resources to manage. They’re humans to value. Bad managers only care about your results. Good managers care about your well-being. Great managers care more about your well-being than your results. We do our best work when leaders put people above performance.
The goal of a great discussion isn't to land on the same page. It’s to explore different views. Nods and smiles stroke your ego and close your mind. Thoughtful questions stoke your curiosity and stretch your thinking. Consensus makes you comfortable. Dissent makes you smarter.
Retweeted by Adam Grant
The goal of a great discussion isn't to land on the same page. It’s to explore different views. Nods and smiles stroke your ego and close your mind. Thoughtful questions stoke your curiosity and stretch your thinking. Consensus makes you comfortable. Dissent makes you smarter.
Questioning your abilities doesn’t mean you have impostor syndrome. It’s a normal response to a new challenge or a difficult task. The absence of doubt breeds arrogance. Feeling unsure maintains humility. A lack of confidence is a reminder that you have something to learn.
Not having an opinion is not a sign of ignorance or indifference. It's often a mark of an open mind. The more complex and consequential the issue, the more critical thinking depends on suspending judgment. A key to learning is gathering information without forming a conclusion.
Work-life balance sets the bar too low. No one grows up dreaming of a job that doesn't interfere with their life. We hope to spend our waking hours doing work that enriches our lives. A toxic job drains you. A decent job sustains you. A healthy job invigorates you.
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