No. 1 Performance Doctor: Why Ronaldo Makes Teams WORSE & Older Siblings Are Smarter! - Adam Grant

No. 1 Performance Doctor: Why Ronaldo Makes Teams WORSE & Older Siblings Are Smarter! - Adam Grant

Intro (00:00:00)

  • Adam Grant is a business psychologist and one of the world's most influential career and business thinkers.
  • He studies how to make work more enjoyable and helps people become better versions of themselves.
  • Some of the myths and findings about unlocking hidden potential include:
    • Perfectionism is not always good and can lead to burnout.
    • Firstborns tend to have higher IQs, while later-borns are more willing to take risks.
    • Procrastination is not always about avoiding hard work but can be influenced by other factors.
    • Brainstorming in groups can be less effective than individuals working alone.
    • Imposter syndrome is common, and having imposter thoughts can have benefits such as better performance and longer job tenure.
    • Using Chrome or Firefox browsers is associated with better performance and job retention compared to Safari or Internet Explorer.
  • The most vital skill to unlock hidden potential is yet to be revealed.
  • The host asks Adam Grant for feedback on how to improve the podcast.
  • Adam Grant mentions that 69.9% of frequent viewers on the YouTube channel have not subscribed.
  • He requests viewers to subscribe to the channel to support its growth and production.
  • He promises to make continuous improvements to the show in return for the support.

Finding Happiness Meaning & Success (00:02:16)

  • Adam Grant's goal is to provide useful insights from social science to help people make choices that lead to happiness, meaning, and success.
  • He is an organizational psychologist interested in finding meaning and motivation and leading generous, creative, and curious lives.
  • His team member, Grace Miller, gave everyone a copy of his book, Originals, with personalized notes acknowledging his originality.
  • Grant shares a childhood photo of himself at age seven, obsessed with Nintendo and playing for extended hours.
  • His mother's concern about video games' negative impact on him led her to call the local newspaper, resulting in a feature story about Grant as a child hooked on video games.
  • Research suggests that the benefits of video games outweigh the costs.
  • Children who play video games, even for a few hours daily, develop more self-control, better working memory, and increased grit and self-discipline.
  • Video games may also have positive mental health benefits.

Redefining The Game & Changing The Rules About Success (00:05:06)

  • Adam Grant was motivated to redefine the game and change the rules of success.
  • He realized that he didn't have to be a selfish taker to succeed.
  • His research showed that givers who help others without strings attached outperform expectations in the long run.
  • He believes that people can achieve success by sharing knowledge, making introductions, giving feedback, and solving problems for others.
  • His mission as an author is to ask what is wrong with the way people play the game and how to shift it.

Who Are More Successful, Givers Or Keepers? (00:07:36)

  • Cristiano Ronaldo's impact on teams is debated, with some believing he benefits teams and others arguing he has a negative impact.
  • The author suggests that Ronaldo's self-centered behavior and playstyle may contribute to his negative impact on teams.
  • A study of NBA basketball teams shows that teams with more selfish players, including narcissists, fail to improve over the season.
  • Ronaldo's individual brilliance may not translate to team success, as he doesn't elevate those around him.
  • True leaders, like Lionel Messi, focus on making others more effective.
  • Statistical analysis shows that teams Ronaldo has joined since leaving Real Madrid have experienced a decline in performance.
  • Ronaldo's extraordinary skills and improvisational creativity are undeniable, but questions remain about whether they ultimately serve the team's best interests.

Taking The Initiative: Great Ideas Need Execution (00:10:41)

  • Originals are people who take action to create change, not just have new ideas.
  • Execution is the key difference between successful and unsuccessful ideas.
  • Some of the best originals are actually procrastinators who wait for their best ideas before implementing them.
  • Procrastinating a little bit can make people more creative.

What Happens To Procrastinators? (00:14:37)

  • Procrastination can enhance creativity when intrinsically motivated by the challenge.
  • Procrastination is a natural part of the creative process and can be managed by addressing negative emotions and making tasks more engaging.
  • A study by Michael Hman found a correlation between job performance and the type of internet browser people use.
  • Chrome and Firefox users tend to be more resourceful, proactive, and creative, leading to better performance and job satisfaction.
  • Questioning the status quo and seeking better options can be an indicator of an individual's potential for originality and creativity.

Who Are The Originals Of Our Time? (00:21:53)

  • Elon Musk is considered an original due to his visionary ideas and relentless pursuit of making them a reality.

What Are The Characteristics Of Originals (00:22:38)

  • Originals challenge the status quo and are relentless in pursuing their vision.

Why Child Geniuses Won't Become Adult Geniuses (00:24:04)

  • Child prodigies often don't become adult geniuses because they don't learn to stretch their creative muscles and take risks.
  • Adult geniuses possess character skills, such as being obsessive about making themselves uncomfortable, constantly learning, and being imperfectionists.

Being A Perfectionist (00:25:25)

  • Perfectionism is often seen as a positive trait, indicating a strong work ethic and a desire for excellence.
  • However, research suggests that perfectionism can actually be a risk factor for burnout and may not lead to better job performance.
  • Perfectionists tend to do well in school because they can cram and memorize information for tests, but the real world is more ambiguous and unpredictable.
  • Perfectionists are often terrified of failure and avoid taking risks, which can limit their growth and development.

The Importance Of Urgency (00:27:28)

  • Perfectionism can hinder success by slowing down progress and preventing iterative learning. Experimentation and learning from market feedback are crucial for success, as they allow for faster pivoting and adaptation.
  • Setting realistic goals and calibrating what's "good enough" based on the return on time spent is essential for effective time management and productivity.
  • The target score for a project should be determined based on its potential impact and the effort required, with higher-impact projects requiring a higher target score.
  • According to Adam Grant, exceptional books can have a significant and lasting impact on one's life, while social media posts provide a fleeting dopamine hit. Podcasting falls somewhere between books and social media in terms of memorability and impact.
  • Grant places more value on writing than talking because written content has a longer-lasting effect on people.

The Importance Of Leaning Into Difficulty (00:33:27)

  • The ability to choose discomfort is a vital skill that can be learned and developed through strategies like delay gratification.
  • Overcoming discomfort is key to personal growth and success, and can be developed through practice and learned strategies.
  • Nature and nurture interact in the development of important life skills, but the power of nurture is often underestimated.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo's success is attributed to his drive to overcome vulnerability and become someone untouchable.
  • The theory of learned industriousness suggests that rewarding effort, hard work, and discomfort-seeking can lead to a positive feedback loop where pushing oneself beyond comfort zones becomes intrinsically rewarding, and this self-reinforcing cycle can become a key factor in achieving success.

What Role Trauma Plays In Becoming Successful? (00:38:37)

  • Trauma can play a role in people becoming successful.
  • People who push themselves out of their comfort zones often have traumatic or difficult home lives.
  • There is survivorship bias when looking at successful people who overcame adversity.
  • Resilience is underestimated as a general rule.
  • Resilience is not an individual skill but requires a support system.
  • Having a parent, mentor, or coach who believes in one's potential is important for resilience.

What Determines What Sibling Will Be More Successful? (00:41:12)

  • Birth order can influence character and skills, but its effects are minor and don't determine an individual's future.
  • Firstborns tend to score slightly higher in IQ tests due to teaching younger siblings.
  • Laterborns are more willing to take risks and become original thinkers due to greater freedom and independence from their parents.
  • The author attributes their risk-taking behavior and unconventional career choices to their later birth order.
  • While risk-taking is often associated with entrepreneurial success, research suggests that the most successful entrepreneurs take cautious risks and constantly try to minimize potential losses while maximizing potential gains.
  • Balancing risky and cautious investments is crucial, just like in a stock portfolio, and successful entrepreneurs prioritize protecting the downside of their risks.

What Makes A Risk Taker? (00:48:41)

  • Elon Musk's initial goal for SpaceX was to build a reusable rocket, but his probability of reaching Mars in his lifetime has increased from 7-8% to 11%.
  • To gain support for bold visions, it can be helpful to present them within a more familiar and desirable context.
  • In team building, we often mistake confidence for competence and elevate people to leadership roles based on their dominance in conversations (the "babble effect").
  • Effective leaders prioritize generosity (putting the mission above ego and making others better) and humility (recognizing what they don't know and learning from others).
  • Lifelong learning involves acknowledging what one doesn't know and actively seeking knowledge from others.
  • Every person has unique experiences and expertise, so approaching collaborations with humility is essential to foster effective collaboration and learning.

What Takes To Build A Great Team (00:53:34)

  • Commitment cultures, where companies prioritize hiring people who fit the culture and live the mission, are more successful than star cultures that focus on hiring the biggest geniuses.
  • Commitment cultures are less likely to fail, more likely to go public, but grow at slower rates after going public.
  • Hiring solely on culture fit can lead to groupthink and lack of diversity of thought and background, which can stagnate the company.
  • Culture fit should focus on aligning people with the company's core values, not on personality traits or educational background.
  • Studies show that star performers who move to a new organization take an average of 5 years to recover their star performance unless they take their team with them.
  • The people we rely on to do our best work have a significant impact on our performance.
  • This is not unique to Wall Street; it can be seen in various fields such as cardiac surgery, sports, and even NASA simulations.
  • Effective teamwork requires time and practice to develop, even among talented individuals.

What Happens To People When You Take Them Out Of Their Team Culture (00:57:54)

  • Strangers made more potentially catastrophic errors than exhausted crews that had just flown together.
  • Shared experience compensated for the lack of sleep.
  • History together is more important than alertness.
  • Too much familiarity stifles creativity and innovation.
  • Balancing act between familiarity and novelty is crucial.
  • Introducing new members with fresh ideas fosters innovation.
  • After 3-4 years of shared experience, the benefit of shared experience plateaus.
  • Predictable routines become easy for opponents to defend against.
  • Cognitive entrenchment occurs when people take assumptions for granted.
  • Bringing in outside talent, fresh perspectives, or rotating roles helps prevent entrenchment.
  • Successful teams can become creatively complacent and switch to a defensive mode.
  • Self-disruption is challenging when a team is succeeding.
  • Pixar's example: At the peak of their success, Steve Jobs and Ed Catmull resisted resting on their laurels.
  • When succeeding, companies have the least capacity to disrupt themselves.

How To Not Get Complacent If You're Successful (01:01:49)

  • Pixar's success with "The Incredibles" was due to the director's ability to embrace disagreeableness and assemble a team of "disagreeable givers."
  • Disagreeable givers are individuals who challenge the status quo and drive innovation by offering ideas to improve things.
  • Leaders should pay attention to those who have been willing to push them and let them know the valuable role they play in their lives.
  • Disagreeable givers help leaders see their blind spots and drive innovation by challenging them to think again and question their methods.
  • Honesty is the highest form of loyalty, and being candid and direct with someone shows that you value their input.
  • Criticizing yourself out loud can prove that you are open to feedback and create a safe space for others to contribute.

Disagreeing With Your Boss (01:07:17)

  • Creating psychological safety encourages team members to speak up and provide constructive criticism.
  • Admitting weaknesses and being open to feedback shows self-awareness, humility, and integrity.
  • Brainstorming doesn't work well because of production blocking, ego threat, and conformity pressure.
  • Working alone generates more and better ideas than brainstorming in groups.
  • Reasons for this include production blocking, ego threat, and conformity pressure.
  • Anonymity can help in low psychological safety environments, but the goal is to encourage people to put their names on their ideas.

What Science Says About Group Vs Individual Thinking (01:11:25)

  • Brainwriting is a creative process where individuals anonymously write down and rate ideas to refine the most promising ones.
  • Hidden potential is often underestimated, and people should not give up on something just because they are not instantly good at it.
  • Potential is both an inherent quality and something that can be developed through effort and self-improvement.
  • Adam Grant discusses the concept of unlocking one's potential for growth, which may be invisible to both the individual and those around them.
  • Grant shares a personal story about overcoming his fear of heights and extreme pain in diving, particularly when attempting new dives.

Unlocking Your Hidden Potential (01:17:07)

  • Stepping outside one's comfort zone and taking risks are crucial for personal growth and confidence-building.
  • Imposter syndrome can motivate individuals to persist towards their goals despite self-doubt.
  • Trusting the judgment of others who believe in one's abilities can provide a more accurate assessment than relying solely on self-judgment.
  • Pursuing one's potential and living authentically leads to greater happiness, fulfillment, and health.
  • Seeking advice, rather than feedback, can result in more specific and actionable tips for improvement.
  • When asking for advice, people tend to focus on the future and provide more constructive suggestions.
  • Being vulnerable and acknowledging weaknesses can create a positive atmosphere for learning and growth.
  • Self-promotion highlights personal accomplishments, while idea promotion emphasizes sharing valuable insights and elevating products or services.
  • Sharing knowledge and skills is seen as an act of generosity and can benefit others.
  • The fear of appearing self-promoting or narcissistic can hinder individuals from sharing their ideas, especially those transitioning from being quiet to being vocal.
  • Overcoming this fear and persisting in sharing ideas can lead to positive outcomes and feedback.

Self Promotion Vs Idea Promotion (01:27:43)

  • The author believes everyone has ideas worth sharing and has a responsibility to share them.
  • The author suggests that personal branding is not helpful because it centers self-promotion and can lead to inauthenticity.
  • The author prefers to build a reputation based on values, such as original thinking and rethinking.
  • The author gives an example of how they were branded as the "nice guys finish first" guy after their book "Give and Take" came out, but they later realized that not all givers are nice and that disagreeable givers can also be successful.
  • The author believes that personal growth and learning require being open to contradicting one's own ideas and evolving one's thinking.

Think Like A Scientist (01:29:57)

  • The purpose of idea promotion should be the pursuit of truth and knowledge, not personal branding.
  • It's important to be okay with being inconsistent and continually wrong, as admitting mistakes can lead to learning and growth.
  • Thinking like a scientist, where opinions are hypotheses and decisions are experiments, can lead to better choices and success.
  • It's important to focus on getting it right rather than being right, and to base your identity on your values rather than your beliefs.
  • Challenging oneself and questioning the status quo is essential for personal and professional success, and humility and maintaining a student mindset throughout your career are key to success.
  • Adam Grant's books, including "Originals," "Think Again," and "Hidden Potential," are recommended for pushing thinking forward and unlocking hidden potential.
  • Successful podcast guests start with stories, then provide supporting data and conclude their points effectively, using techniques like the "curiosity gap" to capture the audience's attention and encourage engagement.
  • The speaker expresses concern about the length of their stories when participating in podcasts and their desire to have conversations rather than just interviews, but they believe that short stories can be effective and that the best stories take time to unfold.

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