75 Best Adam Grant Quotes from the Popular Science Author

Adam Grant is an American popular science author. Born to a lawyer father and teacher mother in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Raised in Detroit’s suburbs, Grant was a high school All-American in diving and aspired to play professional basketball.

He also worked as a professional magician during college.

Academic Career: Initially an advertising director and magician, Grant became an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina in 2007.

By 2009, he joined the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, as its youngest tenured professor. He was voted the best professor from 2011 to 2017.

Adam Grant

Business Ventures: Hosts WorkLife and ReThinking podcasts. Co-founded Give and Take, Inc. in 2017, which launched Givitas, a software influenced by his book “Give and Take”. Additionally, he’s involved with Lean In and EXILE Content.

Personal Life: Married to Allison, with whom he has two daughters and a son.
Books: Authored and co-authored several titles, including “Give and Take”, “Originals”, “Option B” (with Sheryl Sandberg) and “Think Again”.

Below are some of the most powerful quotes by Adam Grant.

Best Adam Grant Quotes


Stop asking kids what they want to be when they grow up. ~ Adam Grant.


Enemies make better allies than frenemies. ~ Adam Grant.


Argue like you’re right and listen like you’re wrong. ~ Adam Grant.


Everyone knows more than you about something. ~ Adam Grant.


Common sense is rarely common practice. ~ Adam Grant.


Original thinkers doubt the default. ~ Adam Grant.

The most effective leaders score high in both confidence AND humility. ~ Adam Grant.


There’s a wealth of evidence that people want to do meaningful work. ~ Adam Grant.

Once we hear the story and accept it as true, we rarely bother to question it. ~ Adam Grant.

Excellence is the product of high aspirations and low ego. ~ Adam Grant.

Talented people are attracted to those who care about them. ~ Adam Grant.

Famous Adam Grant Quotes

Arrogance leaves us blind to our weaknesses. ~ Adam Grant.

​Passionate people don’t wear their passion on their sleeves; they have it in their hearts. ~ Adam Grant.

Conformity is dangerous. ~ Adam Grant.

Passions are developed, not just discovered. ~ Adam Grant.

Focus attention and energy on making a difference in the lives of others, and success might follow as a by product. ~ Adam Grant.


It takes confident humility to admit that we’re in a work in progress. ~ Adam Grant.

Evidence shows that in learning cultures, organizations innovate more and make fewer mistakes. ~ Adam Grant.

Top Adam Grant Quotes

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


I think of productivity as using your time to accomplish things of value to you and others. ~ Adam Grant.

If we want to forecast whether the originators of a novel idea will be successful, we need to look beyond the enthusiasm they express about their ideas and focus on the enthusiasm for execution that they reveal through their actions. ~ Adam M. Grant.

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. ~ Adam Grant.

Our identities are open systems, and so are our lives. ~ Adam Grant.

The personality trait most associated with an interest in the arts is called openness, the tendency to seek out novelty in intellectual, aesthetic, and emotional pursuits. ~ Adam Grant.

I’m scheduling a weekly time for rethinking and unlearning. ~ Adam Grant.

Popular Adam Grant Quotes

Complex problems like pandemics, climate change, and political polarization call on us to stay mentally flexible. ~ Adam Grant.


Joy can wax and wane, but meaning is more likely to last. ~ Adam Grant.

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. ~ Adam Grant.

Having a sense of security in one realm gives us the freedom to be original in another. ~ Adam Grant.

Being a giver is not good for a 100-yard dash, but it’s valuable in a marathon. ~ Adam Grant.

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. ~ Adam Grant.

Beware of getting stranded at the summit of Mt Stupid. ~ Adam Grant.

I study how to make work not suck. ~ Adam Grant.

Strong leaders engage their critics and make themselves stronger. Weak leaders silence their critics and make themselves weaker. ~ Adam Grant.

Inspirational Adam Grant Quotes

Good guys are most likely to finish last, but also most likely to finish first. ~ Adam Grant.

Changing your mind doesn’t make you a flip-flopper or a hypocrite. It means you were open to learning. ~ Adam M. Grant.


By looking on the bright side, we’ll activate enthusiasm and turn on the go system. ~ Adam Grant.

Many people who hold giver values in life choose matching as their primary reciprocity style at work, seeking an even balance of give and take. ~ Adam Grant.

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. ~ Adam Grant.

My past self was Mr Facts – I was too fixated on knowing. Now I’m more interested in finding out what I don’t know. ~ Adam Grant.

Dissenting opinions are useful, even when they are wrong. ~ Adam Grant.

Great Adam Grant Quotes

My favorite bias is the ‘I’m not biased’ bias, in which people believe they’re more objective than others. ~ Adam Grant.

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. ~ Adam Grant.

The fear of being judged as weak or naïve prevents many people from operating like givers at work. ~ Adam Grant.


Originality is not a fixed trait. It is a free choice. ~ Adam Grant.

Focusing on results might be good for short-term performance, but it can be an obstacle to long-term learning. ~ Adam Grant.

People are remarkably open to criticism when they believe it’s intended to help them. ~ Adam Grant.

Conviction in our ideas is dangerous not only because it leaves us vulnerable to false positives, but also because it stops us from generating the requisite variety to reach our creative potential. ~ Adam Grant.

For startups, there’s so much pivoting that’s required that if you have a bunch of sheep, you’re in bad shape. ~ Adam Grant.

Interesting Adam Grant Quotes

Leaders who don’t have time to read are leaders who don’t make time to learn. ~ Adam Grant.

Listening well is more than a matter of talking less. It’s a set of skills in asking and responding. ~ Adam Grant.

If we communicate the vision behind our ideas, the purpose guiding our products, people will flock to us. ~ Adam M. Grant.


Procrastination is a vice when it comes to productivity, but it can be a virtue for creativity. ~ Adam Grant.

To predict how people will use power, you need to figure out what their motives, values and identities are before they have it. ~ Adam Grant.

Highly successful people have three things in common: motivation, ability, and opportunity. ~ Adam Grant.

It’s never too late to become original. ~ Adam Grant.

Inspiring Adam Grant Quotes

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. ~ Adam Grant.

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. ~ Adam Grant.

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. ~ Adam Grant.

A good debate is not a war. It’s not even a tug-of-war….it’s more like a dance that hasn’t been choreographed.

Originality brings more bumps in the road, yet it leaves us with more happiness and a greater sense of meaning. ~ Adam M. Grant.

I think the world would be a better place if everyone put on scientist goggles a little more often. ~ Adam Grant.

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. ~ Adam Grant.

Dissenting for the sake of dissenting is not useful…But when it’s authentic, it stimulates thought; it clarifies and emboldens. Genuine dissenters challenge people to doubt themselves. ~ Adam Grant.

And they act in the face of risk, because their fear of not succeeding exceeds their fear of failing. ~ Adam Grant.


Don’t criticize yourself while you’re creating. ~ Adam Grant.

Entrepreneurs who kept their day jobs had 33 percent lower odds of failure than those who quit. ~ Adam Grant.

Wise Adam Grant Quotes

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. ~ Adam Grant.

We don’t know how time and circumstances will change what we want and even who we want to be, and locking our life GPS onto a single target can give us the right directions to the wrong destination. ~ Adam Grant.


Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~ Adam M. Grant.

Givers reject the notion that interdependence is weak. Givers are more likely to see interdependence as a source of strength, a way to harness the skills of multiple people for a greater good. ~ Adam Grant.

Your ‘should self’ puts the alarm clock across the room at night so your ‘want self’ can’t reach the snooze button in the morning. ~ Adam Grant.

Instead of hovering like a helicopter parent, try submarine parenting: give kids the freedom to explore and surface if there’s a distress signal. ~ Adam Grant.

So these were the 75 top Adam Grant quotes and sayings for leaders and leadership.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Howard Cosell quotes and Waylon Jennings quotes.

Share with others!
Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar