Top 100 Inspirational Adam Grant Leadership Quotes


This post is all about Adam Grant leadership quotes.

Adam Grant Leadership Quotes.


I first learned about Adam Grant through Instagram, actually. Without really knowing who he is or what he does, I would always see his Instagram content (usually in Tweet form) go viral.

This made me curious: who is Adam Grant and what exactly does he do? After doing a little research, I’m hooked on him and his philosophy, and I can’t wait to read his book “Think Again”.

In his own words, according to his website, Adam Grant is “an organizational psychologist and bestselling author who explores the science of motivation, generosity, original thinking, and rethinking.”

He earned his Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University Michigan (which he did in less than 3 years) and earned his Bachelor’s from Harvard University.

He has earned countless awards for his teachings, actively gives to charities in need, wrote a picture book for children about generosity, and has had multiple successful Ted Talks

He has written two New York Times best-selling books: “Think Again” (as mentioned above) and “Originals”, among others. 

He is currently a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and honestly, the list goes on.

Now, having done my research, I have a lot of respect for Adam Grant, and I’m so happy I finally know the background behind the guy whose tweets are always going viral!


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Adam Grant Leadership Quotes

Here are the best Adam Grant leadership quotes.


Leadership Quotes

Here are the very best Adam Grant quotes on leadership.

1. “The most effective leaders score high in both confidence AND humility.” 

2. “It takes confident humility to admit that we’re in a work in progress.”

3. “Leaders who don’t have time to read are leaders who don’t make time to learn.”

4. “Excellence is the product of high aspirations and low ego.”

5. “What distinguishes the greatest leaders of our time, it’s that success is very rarely a goal for them; it’s a byproduct of other goals that they have.”

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

7. “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

8. “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.”

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

10. “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.”

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

12. “There’s a fine line between heroic persistence and foolish stubbornness. Sometimes the best kind of grit is gritting our teeth and turning around.”

13. “Conformity is dangerous.”

14. “An employee made a mistake that cost the company $10 million, he walked into the office of Tom Watson, the C.E.O., expecting to get fired. ‘Fire you?’ Mr. Watson asked. ‘I just spent $10 million educating you.”

15. “Confidence is a measure of how much you believe in yourself. Evidence shows that’s distinct from how much you believe in your methods. You can be confident in your ability to achieve a goal in the future while maintaining the humility to question whether you have the right tools in the present. That’s the sweet spot of confidence.”


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


16. “For women to achieve equal representation in leadership roles, it’s important that they have the backing of men as well as women.”

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

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

19. “Most people believe that great leaders are distinguished by their ability to give compelling answers.”

20. “Who you are should be a question of what you value, not what you believe.”

21. “Common sense is rarely common practice.”

22. “You want people who choose to follow because they genuinely believe in ideas, not because they’re afraid to be punished if they don’t.”


Adam Grant Quotes On Rethinking

Open-mindedness is key to Adam Grant’s philosophy. See why through these quotes on rethinking.


1. “It’s never too late to become original.”

2. “We listen to views that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard.”

3. “Once we hear the story and accept it as true, we rarely bother to question it.”

4. “We live in a rapidly changing world, where we need to spend as much time rethinking as we do thinking.”

5. “We often favor feeling right, over being right.”

6. “Strong leaders engage their critics and make themselves stronger. Weak leaders silence their critics and make themselves weaker.”

7. “Original thinkers doubt the default.”

8. “Changing your mind doesn’t make you a flip-flopper or a hypocrite. It means you were open to learning.”

9. “Gaining insight and perspective is not about the number of years you’ve lived. It’s about the number of lessons you’ve learned.”

10. “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.”

11. “If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom.”

12. “I’m scheduling a weekly time for rethinking and unlearning.”

13. “Uncertainty primes us to ask questions and absorb new ideas.”

14. “Authenticity is a virtue. But just as you can have too little authenticity, you can also have too much.”

15. “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.”


Common sense is rarely common practice.


16. “A hallmark of wisdom is knowing when it’s time to abandon some of your most treasured tools—and some of the most cherished parts of your identity.”

17. “After all, the purpose of learning isn’t to affirm our beliefs; it’s to evolve our beliefs.”

18. “Rather than looking outward in an attempt to predict the outcome, you turn inward to your identity. You base the decision on who you are–or who you want to be.”

19. “By looking on the bright side, we’ll activate enthusiasm and turn on the go system.”

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


Adam Grant Quotes on Teamwork

The assistance of others can really come in handy, especially in a work environment. Here are Adam Grant’s best quotes on teamwork.


1. “Everyone knows more than you about something.”

2. “Listening well is more than a matter of talking less. It’s a set of skills in asking and responding.”

3. “To get real diversity of thought, you need to find the people who genuinely hold different views and invite them into the conversation.”

4. “In a heated argument, you can always stop and ask, ‘What evidence would change your mind?’ If the answer is ‘nothing,’ then there’s no point in continuing the debate.”

5. “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.”

6. “Reconnect with dormant ties. Once a month, reach out to one person with whom you haven’t spoken in years. Find out what they’re working on and ask if there are ways you can be helpful.”

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

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

9. “Teams need the opportunity to learn about each other’s capabilities and develop productive routines.”

10. “We dramatically underestimate how powerful appreciation is.”

11. “Influence is far more powerful if you change people’s behaviors first, and their attitudes often follow.”

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

13. “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.”

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

15. “Dissenting opinions are useful, even when they are wrong.”


Uncertainty primes us to ask questions and absorb new ideas.


16. “If you’re going to build a strong culture, it’s paramount to make diversity one of your core values.”

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

18. “You don’t have to ask permission to take responsibility.”

19. “Negative relationships are unpleasant but predictable.”

20. “If you’ve ever had a coworker actively interfere with your productivity, try to make you look bad, steal your ideas, or give you false information, you’ve been the victim of undermining.”


Adam Grant Quotes About Work

Are you able to come up with creative ideas at work? Are you working with talented people on meaningful activities? These quotes will get you thinking about different ways to work.


1. “Don’t criticize yourself while you’re creating.”

2. “Arrogance leaves us blind to our weaknesses.”

3. “People are remarkably open to criticism when they believe it’s intended to help them.”

4. “The fear of being judged as weak or naïve prevents many people from operating like givers at work.”

5. “Practice makes perfect, but it doesn’t make new. The gifted learn to play magnificent Mozart melodies and beautiful Beethoven symphonies, but never compose their own original scores.”

6. “Entrepreneurs who kept their day jobs had 33 percent lower odds of failure than those who quit.”

7. “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.”

8. “I think of productivity as using your time to accomplish things of value to you and others.”

9. “There’s a wealth of evidence that people want to do meaningful work.”

10. “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

11. “Your antidote to burnout is not necessarily less work. It could be more meaning.”

12. “Burnout is being overwhelmed by work. Boreout is being underwhelmed by work.”

13. “What do you want to be when you grow up? As a kid, that was my least favourite question.”

14. “Most of the jobs you get are more or less through word of mouth, or a recommendation. It’s really important to have a good reputation.”

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


Argue like you're right and listen like you're wrong.


16. “When you develop a reputation for being responsive and generous, an ever-expanding mountain of requests will come your way.”

17. “Originality is not a fixed trait. It is a free choice.”

18. “To become an original, we have to be willing to take some risks.”

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

20. “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.”


Motivational Quotes by Adam Grant

If you’re looking for a little motivation, these Adam Grant quotes will do the trick.


1. “Passions are developed, not just discovered.”

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

3. “Originality brings more bumps in the road, yet it leaves us with more happiness and a greater sense of meaning.”

4. “If we want to succeed, we need a combination of hard work, talent, and luck.”

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

6. “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.”

7. “When we use the logic of consequence, we can always find reasons not to take risks.”

8. “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.”

9. “Steve Jobs was famous for making big bets based on intuition rather than systematic analysis.”

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

11. “Knowledge is best sought from experts, but creativity and wisdom can come from anywhere.”

12. “Being a giver is not good for a 100-yard dash, but it’s valuable in a marathon.”

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

14. “Highly successful people have three things in common: motivation, ability, and opportunity.”

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


Negative relationships are unpleasant but predictable.


16. “If we create networks with the sole intention of getting something, we won’t succeed.”

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

18. “When our commitment is wavering, the best way to stay on track is to consider the progress we’ve already made. As we recognize what we’ve invested and attained, it seems like a waste to give up, and our confidence and commitment surge.”


Which of these were your favorite Adam Grant leadership quotes?


This post was all about Adam Grant leadership quotes.


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