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Adam Grant Quotes

Adam Grant

Adam Grant quotes: the Wharton whiz puts on a quote clinic.

“Success doesn’t measure a human being; effort does.”

“The more you value achievement, the more you come to dread failure. Instead of aiming for unique accomplishments, the intense desire to succeed leads us to strive for guaranteed success.”

“Passionate people don’t wear their passion on their sleeves; they have it in their hearts.”

“Highly successful people have three things in common: motivation, ability and opportunity. If we want to succeed, we need a combination of hard work, talent and luck.”

“Turns out that motivation is the reason that people develop talent in the first place.”

“Procrastinate strategically. Procrastination may be the enemy of productivity but it can be a valuable resource for creativity.”

“When you procrastinate, you’re more likely to let your mind wander. That gives you a better chance of stumbling onto the unusual and spotting unexpected patterns.”

“When you put off a task, you buy yourself time to engage in divergent thinking rather than foreclosing on one particular idea.”

“Progress always involves risk. You can’t steal second and keep one foot on first base.”

“Geniuses don’t have better ideas than the rest of us. They just have more of them.”

“Creativity is generating ideas that are novel and useful. I define originals as people who go beyond dreaming up the ideas and take initiative to make their visions a reality.”

“To grow, people need to be challenged.”

“If we communicate the vision behind our ideas, the purpose guiding our products, people will flock to us.”

“Timing accounted for 42% of the difference between success and failure.”

“The hallmark of originality is rejecting the default and exploring whether a better option exists.”

“Being original doesn’t require being first. It just means being different and better.”

“To become original, you have to try something new, which means accepting some measure of risk.”

“Originals are nonconformists, people who not only have new ideas but take action to champion them. They are people who stand out and speak up. Originals drive creativity and change in the world. They’re the people you want to bet on.”

“If you want to be original, the most important possible thing you could do… is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work.”

“Many people fail to achieve originality because they generate a few ideas and then obsess about refining them to perfection.”

“If you don’t hire originals, you run the risk of people disagreeing but not voicing their dissent.”

“Teams need the opportunity to learn about each other’s capabilities and develop productive routines. So once we get the right people on the bus, let’s make sure they spend some time driving together.”

“To generate creative ideas, it’s important to start from an unusual place. But to explain those ideas, they have to be connected to something familiar.”

“The most promising ideas begin from novelty and then add familiarity.”

“If an organization values innovation, you can assume it’s safe to speak up with new ideas, leaders will listen, and your voice matters.”

“The culture of a workplace—an organization’s values, norms and practices—has a huge impact on our happiness and success.”

“When it comes to landing a good job, many people focus on the role. Although finding the right title, position, and salary is important, there’s another consideration that matters just as much: culture.”

“When people know how their work makes a difference, they feel energized to contribute more.”

“Our intuitions are only accurate in domains where we have a lot of experience.”

“Entrepreneurs who kept their day jobs had 33% lower odds of failure than those who quit. If you’re risk averse and have some doubts about the feasibility of your ideas, it’s likely that your business will be built to last. If you’re a freewheeling gambler, your startup is far more fragile. Former track star Phil Knight started selling running shoes out of the trunk of his car in 1964, yet kept working as an accountant until 1969. After inventing the original Apple I computer, Steve Wozniak started the company with Steve Jobs in 1976 but continued working full-time in his engineering job at Hewlett-Packard until 1977. Thriller master Stephen King worked as a teacher, janitor, and gas station attendant for seven years after writing his first story, only quitting a year after his first novel, Carrie, was published.”

“Research suggests that there are two fundamental paths to influence: dominance and prestige. When we establish dominance, we gain influence because others see us as strong, powerful, and authoritative. When we earn prestige, we become influential because others respect and admire us.”

“Having a sense of security in one realm gives us the freedom to be original in another.”

“In the long run, research shows that the mistakes we regret are not errors of commission, but errors of omission. If we could do things over, most of us would censor ourselves less and express our ideas more.”

“The more successful people have been in the past, the worse they perform when they enter a new environment. They become overconfident, and they’re less likely to seek critical feedback even though the context is radically different.”

“By admitting your inadequacies, you show that you’re self-aware enough to know your areas for improvement—and secure enough to be open about them.”

“Saying no frees you up to say yes when it matters most.”

“Being a nice person is about courtesy: you’re friendly, polite, agreeable, and accommodating. When people believe they have to be nice in order to give, they fail to set boundaries, rarely say no, and become pushovers, letting others walk all over them.”

“If we create networks with the sole intention of getting something, we won’t succeed. We can’t pursue the benefits of networks; the benefits ensue from investments in meaningful activities and relationships.”

“People tend to have one of three ‘styles’ of interaction. There are takers, who are always trying to serve themselves; matchers, who are always trying to get equal benefit for themselves and others; and givers, who are always trying to help people.”

“When takers talk about mistakes, they’re usually quick to place the blame on other people. Givers are more likely to say, ‘Here’s the mistake I made; I learned the following from it. Here are the steps I’m taking to make sure I don’t let people down in the future.'”

“If you want to be a generous giver, you have to watch out for selfish takers.”

“From a relationship perspective, givers build deeper and broader connections.”

“We all have goals for our own individual achievements, and it turns out that the givers who excel are willing to ask for help when they need it. Successful givers are every bit as ambitious as takers and matchers. They simply have a different way of pursuing their goals.”

“Productive givers focus on acting in the long-term best interests of others, even if it’s not pleasant. They have the courage to give the critical feedback we prefer not to hear, but truly need to hear. They offer tough love, knowing that we might like them less, but we’ll come to trust and respect them more.”

“We have many identities, and we can’t be authentic to them all. The best we can do is be sincere in our efforts to earn the values we claim.”

“No one wants to hear everything that’s in your head. They just want you to live up to what comes out of your mouth.”

“Bragging about yourself violates norms of modesty and politeness—and if you were really competent, your work would speak for itself.”

“When a salesperson truly cares about you, trust forms, and you’re more likely to buy, come back for repeat business, and refer new customers.”

“This is what I find most magnetic about successful givers: they get to the top without cutting others down, finding ways of expanding the pie that benefit themselves and the people around them. Whereas success is zero-sum in a group of takers, in groups of givers, it may be true that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”

“Every time we interact with another person at work, we have a choice to make: do we try to claim as much value as we can, or contribute value without worrying about what we receive in return?”

“Argue like you’re right and listen like you’re wrong.”

“Dissenting opinions are useful even when they’re wrong. So instead of speaking to highly agreeable audiences, target suggestions to people with a history of originality.”

“Negative relationships are unpleasant but predictable.”

“When you’re dealing with an ambivalent relationship, you’re constantly on guard, grappling with questions of trust.”

“It’s easier to win if everybody wants you to win. If you don’t make enemies out there, it’s easier to succeed.”

“Focus attention and energy on making a difference in the lives of others, and success might follow as a byproduct.”

“The most meaningful way to succeed is to help others succeed.”

“From a motivation perspective, helping others enriches the meaning and purpose of our own lives, showing us that our contributions matter and energizing us to work harder, longer and smarter.”

“The more I help out, the more successful I become. But I measure success in what it has done for the people around me. That is the real accolade.”

“When people are depending on us, we end up finding strength we didn’t know we had.”

“If you want your children to bring original ideas into the world, you need to let them pursue their passions, not yours.”

“Kids who evolve into creative adults tend to have a strong moral compass.”

“The mark of higher education isn’t the knowledge you accumulate in your head. It’s the skills you gain about how to learn.”

“I love discovering compelling new ideas and doing what I can to help spread the word about them.”

“I have two rules for a great book: make me think and make me smile.”

“It’s ironic that when you go through a tragedy, you appreciate more. You realize how fragile life is and that there are so many things to still be thankful for.”

“In the deepest sense of the word, a friend is someone who sees more potential in you than you see in yourself, someone who helps you become the best version of yourself.”

“Good guys are most likely to finish last, but also most likely to finish first.”

Related: Simon Sinek quotes.

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.