Adam Grant: What It Takes to Be An Original (and why you care)


Originals are the non-conformists who drive creativity and change forward—the ones who help us progress as both independent cultures and a unified species. They’re Steve Jobs’ “crazy ones.”

Yet in spite of this, humanity has always had a fascinatingly dysfunctional relationship with originality—we simultaneously venerate and scorn it, particularly in the workplace. Originals may eventually come to be loved, but they’re almost always met with cynicism and resistance first. Because they don’t fit in.

It’s a fascinating duality, and it’s one of the many things we discuss with today’s guest, Adam Grant—author of two New York Times bestselling books (Originals, Give and Take), and—at 34—the youngest tenured professor in the history of the Wharton School.

As Grant shares, thanks to shifts in social and cultural norms, it’s never been easier to be an original, but so many of us still resist the call. In this wide-ranging conversation, we go deep into how originals think and act.

We explore how we’re often the worst judges of our own good ideas and what do to about it. We debunk the myth of the need to go “all in” and share how the founders of Warby Parker, one of the most innovative companies in the world, kept their day jobs.

We talk about our almost inherent willingness to underestimate ourselves and our creative capacities and what to do about it, and the importance of creating a vast volume of work in order to become an original. We dive into what happens when you try to exert power, before you have status and how that affects your ability to create change. And, so much more.

Join us as we dive headlong into originality—how it works, how it’s changed the world we live in, and why more of us need to embrace it.

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