WorkLife with Adam Grant-logo

WorkLife with Adam Grant

TED Audio Collective

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.


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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.




Brené Brown on What Vulnerability Isn't

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 Maggie Smith on embracing ambiguity

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


The Office's Rainn Wilson on meaning and happiness

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


The problem with optimizing our lives (w/ Barry Schwartz and Coco Krumme)

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


The art of rough drafts with George Saunders

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


Unlocking Hidden Potential with Malcolm Gladwell

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.


The Three Big Myths of Mentoring

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


The Zombie Guide to Surviving Bureaucracy

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


The Science of Recharging on Weekends and Vacations

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


Why Meetings Suck and How to Fix Them

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


How to set boundaries with therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab

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


Khan Academy founder Sal Khan on AI and the future of education

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.


Jim Gaffigan on how comedy leaves an aftertaste

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


When an introvert and an extrovert fall in love with Chip and Joanna Gaines

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


How Pixar’s Ed Catmull and Pete Docter make magic on and off screen

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


How to tell your own story with Baratunde Thurston

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


The science of personality and the art of well-being with Brian Little

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


Hidden Figures author Margot Lee Shetterly on reframing the stories we tell

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


Building atomic habits with James Clear

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


Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya’s “Anti-CEO Playbook”

When Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya first arrived in the U.S., he had little money and no big plans. But combine his childhood growing up in a nomadic dairy-farming Kurdish family, some college-level business courses, and a lot of spunk, and his winding trajectory is a unique story of an entrepreneur finding his north star. Today, Adam asks Hamdi about his “anti-CEO playbook” and the business philosophies he leads with, which aim to prioritize people over profit. Hamdi also shares the work he is doing with refugees around the world, and why he invests in projects with adaptable plans and resilient people. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at