DiscoverWorkLife with Adam Grant
WorkLife with Adam Grant

WorkLife with Adam Grant

Author: TED

Subscribed: 113,892Played: 1,611,383


You spend a quarter of your life at work. You should enjoy it! Organizational psychologist Adam Grant takes you inside the minds of some of the world’s most unusual professionals to discover the keys to a better work life. From learning how to love your rivals to harnessing the power of frustration, one thing’s for sure: You’ll never see your job the same way again. Produced in partnership with Transmitter Media.
141 Episodes
Elliot Aronson is one of the preeminent psychologists of the 20th century — his mentors were Abraham Maslow and Leon Festinger, and his award-winning psychology textbooks are seminal even for non-psychologists. Adam asks Elliot about his pioneering work on making mistakes and cognitive dissonance, or the discomfort we feel when we realize that our attitudes or actions contradict our values. Then, the two discuss the dangers (and upsides) of rationalizing our beliefs — and strategies for making better decisions while keeping an open mind. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at
We usually wear our thickest armor at work, and Brené Brown has blazed the trail of teaching us why and how to shed it. In this conversation, Adam and Brené unpack the power of showing vulnerability at work — and explore how much is too much. Learn when and where to set boundaries, find out how to get more comfortable with being uncomfortable, and hear Brené rethink a key assumption that she took for granted in her own work. The transcript for this episode is available at
Poet and author Maggie Smith isn’t sure where she falls on the spectrum from optimism to pessimism. But her viral poem “Good Bones” and her bestselling books have inspired countless readers with profound insights on the messiness of being human. In this episode, Maggie and Adam discuss strategies for handling complex emotions, sustaining hope while acknowledging reality, and accepting ambiguity in life and art. They explore the value of asking questions that may not have a satisfying answer — or any answer at all. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at
Rainn Wilson was a late bloomer: he landed the role of Dwight Schrute on “The Office” after over a decade of struggling as an actor. But success didn’t solve all of his problems — and it even created some new ones. In this live conversation for the Authors@Wharton series, Adam asks Rainn about his unlikely journey to stardom and how it led him into exploring the insights that philosophy, psychology, and the world’s great spiritual traditions can offer on modern life’s existential questions. They also discuss Rainn’s favorite moments from “The Office” and do some improv when Dunder Mifflin invites a certain organizational psychologist to talk to Dwight. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at
Many people are obsessed with optimizing their lives, but this might be a suboptimal way to live. Adam brings together psychologist Barry Schwartz (author of “The Paradox of Choice”) and applied mathematician Coco Krumme (author of “Optimal Illusions”) to discuss the dark side of maximizing everything. The three discuss the unintended consequences of always aiming for the best, debate different strategies for individuals and societies to make better choices, and explore how it’s possible to pursue success without sacrificing happiness. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at
Before his stories regularly appeared in The New Yorker, before the MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, and before being named one of the world’s most influential people by TIME, George Saunders was a roofer. And a doorman. And a technical writer. In this episode, George sits down with Adam and shares what he’s learned from his winding path towards becoming a professional author, the secrets of creating work that sticks, and how to receive feedback and elevate our rough drafts. Available transcripts for WorkLife can be found at
Malcolm Gladwell hosts a rollicking live discussion about Adam's new book, "Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things," which is out today. They explore why we overemphasize innate talent, how Adam grappled with impostor syndrome as a writer and perfectionism as an athlete, and how to chart a path toward achieving greater things. They also discuss the evidence on affirmative action — and riff on topics ranging from humility to psychoanalysis to whether Lions or Bills fans suffer more.
Mentoring plays an important role in growth and success for both mentors and mentees. But finding the right mentor — and being an effective one — is easier said than done. Adam digs into the science of what makes a good mentor, learns what it takes to build a strong bond from an extraordinary mentor-mentee pair, and busts lasting myths that prevent us from unlocking our potential. Available transcripts for WorkLife can be found at
Bureaucracy exists to provide consistency and structure, but it often stifles creativity and productivity – and breeds misery. In this episode, Adam investigates why we wind up with stupid rules, how to cut red tape without creating chaos, and what it takes to hack bad policies for a greater good. Available transcripts for WorkLife can be found at
Many people don’t use all their paid time off from work — and struggle to relax and recover on nights and weekends too. What does it take to make our breaks more restorative? Adam examines the evidence on recovery and burnout, explores how workplaces can reimagine vacation policies, and highlights what kinds of hobbies are best suited to different times of day. Available transcripts for WorkLife can be found at
Meetings often drain our joy and sap our focus – and meeting overload kills productivity. So why do we have so many of them, and is a better world possible? Adam investigates the science of improving meetings and explores how workplaces are fighting meeting bloat. Available transcripts for WorkLife can be found at
As a therapist, Nedra Glover Tawwab has spent years helping people set boundaries in their personal and professional lives. As the New York Times bestselling author of the books “Drama Free” and “Set Boundaries, Find Peace,” her wisdom often goes viral on Instagram and beyond. Nedra sits down with Adam for an insightful discussion on why people struggle with creating boundaries, how we can deal with saying “no,” and why setting a boundary is the ultimate act of self-respect. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at
As the founder and CEO of Khan Academy, Sal is a pioneer in the education technology space. With millions of users and billions of views, he’s been recognized as one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People,” and now he’s at the forefront of using AI to enrich learning. Sal and Adam have an exciting discussion about the role of AI in the classroom, discuss the opportunities and challenges of designing tools that foster true critical thinking, and share their visions for the future of education.
With his sharp observational comedy and dry wit, Jim Gaffigan has been making people laugh for decades. He’s a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer who has earned an Emmy award and multiple Grammy nominations. He opens up about his early career shift from marketing to comedy, the art of crafting jokes that land, and the often exasperatingly funny experience of parenting. Jim’s latest special, “Dark Pale,” is now streaming on Amazon. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at
Chip and Joanna Gaines are best known for their hit reality TV home renovation show “Fixer Upper.” The married couple has delighted audiences by finding charm in unexpected places, and now Chip and Joanna are building their own empire extending from furniture and homewares to a Gaines TV channel. But their greatest achievement has been building a thriving partnership at work and home despite dramatic differences between their personalities. Chip and Joanna talk with Adam about how introverts and extraverts collaborate, the challenges and rewards of doing business together, and the lessons they’ve gleaned from their entrepreneurial journey. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at
As they dreamed up iconic characters like Buzz and Woody, Pixar reinvented how animated movies are made. But first, they had to build a culture to make this magic possible. Pixar's co-founder and longtime president Ed Catmull and Oscar-winning Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter talk with Adam about how to spark and sustain creative collaboration. They also reveal the secret to great storytelling, discuss how to maintain and evolve a vision, and reflect on the lessons learned from working closely with the ever-enigmatic Steve Jobs. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at
Baratunde Thurston is an Emmy-nominated writer, activist and comedian. Whether it’s through his witty and thoughtful work at The Onion or The Daily Show, or via in-depth reflections in a New York Times best-selling book or a hit podcast, Baratunde is adept at addressing complex ideas with compelling stories and serious issues with levity. Baratunde speaks with Adam about the evolution of his communication style, shares ideas on what kind of storytelling actually moves the needle for an audience, and discusses the surprising ways in which he’s rethinking his approach to AI. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at
Award-winning researcher and pioneering psychologist Brian Little has plenty of accomplishments under his belt. He’s the author of the bestselling books “Me, Myself, and Us” and “Who Are You, Really?” His TED Talk on the science of personality has tens of millions of views and he’s been elected a Favorite Professor multiple times at Harvard. And he’s also Adam’s favorite psychologist – and personal mentor. Brian and Adam talk about how our personal projects shape our well-being, the nuances of introversion and extraversion, when it makes sense to act out of character, and what our daily pursuits reveal about us. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at
Margot Lee Shetterly used to be an investment banker, a business owner, and a content marketing and editorial consultant. Now she’s the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “Hidden Figures,” which chronicles the challenges and contributions of the Black women who worked at NASA from the 1930s through the 1960s. Margot and Adam talk about the process of finding and researching the story behind “Hidden Figures,” how to navigate career transitions, and why reframing familiar tales creates more complex and compelling narratives. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at
As a blogger and executive coach, James Clear spent years studying how to form and change habits. His research culminated in the book "Atomic Habits”, which has sold more than 15 million copies and been translated into over 50 languages. James speaks with Adam about changing our systems for achieving goals, building habits around identities as well as actions, and accumulating small wins that add up to big change. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at
Comments (138)

Hooryar Mehrabi

love everyone of episodes. Thank you dear Adam!

Nov 21st

Mustafa Thunder

it doesn't happen that I decide to listen to a podcast more than once but this one hit home so deeply that I have to.

Nov 10th


agree to some big degree life

Nov 7th

Shaaheen Shahi

Would you please make a podcast and talk about reducing working hours because I think things are gettng done so faster these days beacause of the tehnologies which is being used at office. computers, emails, productivity tools, and many more things we use, caused to get things done faster. So there is no need to work for 8 frustrating hours. I think 4 to 6 hours a day is more than enough. It increases the efficiency of people and people will have more time for their own life.

Oct 8th
Reply (1)

Aakash Amanat

I absolutely love "WorkLife with Adam Grant"! The insights and discussions brought to light in each episode are not only thought-provoking but also incredibly relevant to our ever-evolving work landscape. Adam Grant's ability to blend research, personal anecdotes, and practical advice creates a unique listening experience. The episodes on topics like leadership, productivity, and work culture have genuinely reshaped the way I approach my own career. It's refreshing to hear from experts and real-life professionals who have successfully navigated the challenges that many of us face in our professional lives.

Aug 21st

Phillip Gold

It's actually sometimes very difficult to call out of work without a good reason. My advice - if you have a real reason, give it and then you won't have to blush in front of your boss if your deception is discovered. But there is also a second effective way (in fact, there are several). You can find these ways on this page . As someone who has employees of my own, I can tell you that this would work for me. Maybe some of my employees have already used these tips and I didn't get anything about it :D

Jul 25th

Mike Horan

Do you have any tips on how to take a day off work? I only need advice that will actually help me get off work from my strict boss.

Jul 25th

Sage Birchwood

Lmao, ethical capitalism? Says the former CEO of a company that uses prison labor.

Jun 6th

Amirali Sedaghatyar

Thanks a bunch. hilarious and life_changing at the same time.

May 5th

Osprey 225

from a woman who created a toxic work environment at Barnard College......

May 2nd

Manan Jariwala

Wonderful episode. Thanks.

Apr 13th

Pooja Vaid

This episode was fantastic! Thank you!

Mar 28th

Ali Hajizade

worst episode ever. i fall sleep during the episode. and i was changing the volume constantly, adam speaks loud and yo-yo speaks as low as possible. i couldn't focus on the content because of yo-yo's voice

Mar 2nd

Tnz. Rj

great 👍🏻

Jan 23rd


I loved this episode, you taught us vital points about criticism. Thanks a bunch for your time and effort in making this.

Jan 21st

Heather Mougeot

So So Sooo REFRESHING to hear respectful disagreement among smart people disagreeing without defensive anger or personal attacks. Very rare in the world today but extremely needed; humble confidence and personal reflection with a huge dose empathy and respectful discourse. Beautiful

Dec 29th

good morning

help please

Nov 16th

hani eh

what a great episode

Oct 27th

Meerim Asanalieva


Aug 4th

Meysam Gagoonani

I have been accused of being an "early-quitter," which I do not regret at all. I strongly believe that we should firstly evaluate our job with our personal mission in life. Sometimes it is worth it to go through some difficult jobs, in order to take huge steps towards our personal life goals. With the perspective of 5, 10, and 20 years, even the largest companies play a pretty small role in our life.

Apr 16th
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store