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Adam Grant

Organizational psychologist @Wharton. Books: THINK AGAIN, GIVE AND TAKE, ORIGINALS. Podcast: WorkLife @TEDTalks. Diver. Success is helping others succeed.

Philadelphia, USA

Joined on 4 January, 2013

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Integrity is holding ourselves to the same high standards that we have for others.

Expecting little of everyone is apathy.

Expecting less of ourselves than others sets us up for hypocrisy.

Expecting less of others than ourselves falls short of accountability.

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Feeling embarrassed by your old work isn’t a sign of incompetence. It’s a mark of growth.

Being critical of your past performance means you’ve raised your standards, refined your taste, or improved your judgment.

It’s a path to producing something better in the future.

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New data: to reduce procrastination, answer these Qs 2x/day

(1) Emotion: how will you feel if you fall behind?
(2) Vision: what would a productive person do?
(3) Plan: what one thing can you do to finish on time?
(4) Progress: what's the next small step?

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Authority doesn't grant us freedom from accountability.

Becoming a leader means holding ourselves to higher standards and expecting others to do the same.

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The honor of leadership should not be given to people who crave authority or seek attention.

Power should be reserved for individuals who are daunted by the weight of the role but guided by a sense of responsibility to serve.

Heavy should be the head that wears the crown.

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This is a moment to remember that our loyalty belongs to principles over people, truth over tribe, and social institutions over selfish interests.

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2019: If I let people work from home, will they ever work?

2020: Working from home is not as bad as I thought

2021: If we reopen the office, will anyone come back?

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Study of 5,000 people hearing men & women interrupt with identical scripts:

Men judged women as ruder, colder, dumber. Women showed no gender bias.

Every team needs clear norms—are interruptions signs of engagement or disrespect?—applied to every member

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A persistent enemy of excellence is fragmented attention.

On average, we check email 74x/day and switch tasks every 10min.

Computers are made for parallel processing. Humans are better at serial processing.

2021 resolution: focus on one task at a time.

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Interviewer: What’s your greatest weakness?
Me: The year 2020

Interviewer: Tell me about a time when you overcame adversity
Me: I made it to 2021


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True success is the freedom to stop caring about how anyone else defines success.

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If you shift half your doomscrolling time to books, how much more learning and joy will 2021 bring?

The winter's new releases cover fear & courage, isolation & inclusion, tradition & transformation, adversity & resilience, and thinking & rethinking.

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Many great ideas have never seen the light of day due to perfectionism.

You don't have to fix every flaw before seeking feedback. You just need to be proud of your progress.

Don't wait to share a project until it's done. Share it when what's done so far reflects your potential.

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Although our culture often glorifies quantity, let's not forget that what ultimately matters is quality.

Success is producing a handful of masterpieces, not a mountain of mediocre work.

Happiness depends more on having a few true friends than on having many acquaintances.

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Many people chase wealth, status, and achievement because progress is easy to measure, failing to realize that the gains that count the most are the hardest to count.

Real growth is building character—striving to improve in generosity, integrity, humility, fairness, or courage.

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The obsession with keeping our options open leaves us full of possibilities but empty on fulfillment.

People who are always browsing for something better often miss out on committing to something worthwhile.


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People who live in fear of others stealing their ideas generally don’t have many good ideas.

Creativity is abundant. Execution is scarce.

What prevails is not the best idea but the best implementation.

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Creativity is the art of being kind to yourself when you're generating ideas and tough on yourself when you're evaluating them.

Invite your inner cheerleader to the brainstorming party. Then call your inner critic to clean up the mess later.

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Success is not about competition-- it's about contribution.
My new @TEDTalks on givers and takers:

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