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Adam Grant on Business and Books

Dylan Schleicher

February 03, 2016

We wrap up our Thinker in Residence with Adam Grant by asking him what unanswered question he has about business, and what books have inspired him in the work he does.


"I think we’re leaving the era of the guru, and I’d love to see leaders take a
more critical stance toward opinions that aren’t based on rigorous experiments
and longitudinal studies."
—Adam Grant


Yesterday, we posted a Q&A with Adam Grant about some of the things that piqued our interest the most in his new book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. Today, we try to get inside his brilliant mind a little more by asking him our standard second round of questions about what questions he has left about business, and what books have infuenced him and his work up until this point.

Adam Grant on Business and Books

800-CEO-READ: What is the one unanswered question about business (or work) you are most interested in answering?

Adam Grant: What will it take to motivate more CEOs to read books that are based on good evidence? I think we’re leaving the era of the guru, and I’d love to see leaders take a more critical stance toward opinions that aren’t based on rigorous experiments and longitudinal studies.

8cr: What book has influenced your work the most?

AG: Influence by Robert Cialdini was the first book I read that brought social science to life. It was assigned in three different classes my freshman year of college, and I found it so fascinating that I read it three times.

8cr: What is the book you wish you had written (or admire the most) and why?

AG: I love Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and Quiet by Susan Cain—along with captivating readers and using lots of data, they have inspired millions of people to create a world that’s more fair to women and introverts.

8cr: What book are you reading right now?

AG: I just finished reading TED Talks by Chris Anderson, which was so good that I think all other books on public speaking are now obsolete. It’s a marvelous, moving read about how our words can change our world.


"I love Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and Quiet by Susan Cain—along with captivating readers and using lots of data, they have inspired millions of people to create a world that’s more fair to women and introverts."


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To learn more about the man and his new book, check out our Q&A with Adam Grant.

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Pick up a copy of Originals, keep an eye out for Adam's TED Talk coming later this month, and sign up for his monthly newsletter to keep up with his favorite new insights on work and psychology at www.adamgrant.net. We'll also be posting a full review of the book next Thursday, so come back and visit us here then.

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