Work doesn’t have to suck: ‘WorkLife with Adam Grant’ reframes the way we see work with people like Dax Shepard, Dolly Parton, and more

Business April 18, 2022
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Listen to ‘WorkLife with Adam Grant’

Adam Grant wants to change the way we see work. More importantly, he wants to make work not suck. Whether it’s reframing the way you think about your position or profession, discovering something new you love, or harnessing your frustration, “WorkLife with Adam Grant” is doing all of the above.

From work problems that only became more apparent in the pandemic to dealing with issues on the job to hearing from people who have followed unconventional career paths, Grant is offering listeners not only work advice, but a new outlook on life.

“WorkLife with Adam Grant” has been going strong since 2018, having released over 60 episodes. Typically just 40 minutes long, episodes focus in on topics like mental health in the workplace, speaking up at work, biases in the office, inclusiveness, and why raising pay is the most profitable thing a company can do.

This podcast is also interspersed with episodes from another TED podcast, “Taken For Granted,” also hosted by Adam, in which he interviews his favorite thinkers about all of the opinions and beliefs we should be revisiting.

Grant is an organizational psychologist, which is a branch of the science that specifically studies the workplace. He has studied things like recruitment, retention, training, and performance in the workplace in order to fix broken workplaces. He’s been asked by companies like Google and the NBA to help them fix what’s broken in their workplace, but now he’s taking it one step farther.

On “WorkLife with Adam Grant,” he is finding out how even the most unusual of businesses have succeeded. From tomato paste plants to the International Space Station, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah set to Pixar, he is finding what has worked – and not just worked, but has blown every other company out of the water and helped their employees thrive.

And he’s sharing it with us — the employees, managers, CEOs, and assistants of the world, to show us how to make work not suck.

“WorkLife with Adam Grant” takes a hiatus every winter, but it is finally back. And it’s back with a vengeance, hurtling out the gate with an episode featuring none other than Dolly Parton. As one of the most productive songwriters to ever live, Dolly has recently been blazing a new trail, co-authoring her book Run, Rose, Run with James Patterson and writing a new full-length companion album.

She and Adam speak about her unmatched creative processes, being a professionalist over a perfectionist, and how she manages all of her ambition after decades of working. They discuss Dollywood’s recent announcement that every employee who wants to pursue education will have 100% of their tuition paid for, which Adam says he would love to see happen at other companies.

She speaks about harnessing her creativity and motivation, fighting to be a solo act in Nashville in the 70s and 80s, and obviously, she talks about writing her most famous songs.

Another recent episode that is slightly off topic but still within the scope of “WorkLife” is with political scientist and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul about the war in Ukraine. Namely, Zelensky and Putin’s vastly different leadership styles.

They discuss witnessing Putin’s rise to power at the start of the 21st century, the high power/low affiliation leadership agenda he prescribes by, and how Zelensky’s charisma and conviction has inspired and united Ukrainians.

Other topics that will be talked about this season are the Great Resignation, flexibility at work, overcoming perfectionism, and more. Over the years, he has discussed what we get wrong about mental health at work and what organizations can do to start getting it right.

He has addressed that while companies are not necessarily democracies, they aren’t dictatorships either, and employees are embracing activism to help drive societal change. Adam has also had on podcasters like Dax Shepard, Glennon Doyle, and Malcolm Gladwell to discuss the things they’ve learned over their years on podcasts.

We spend a quarter of our lives at work, and “WorkLife with Adam Grant” wants to make sure that we aren’t spending a quarter of our lives being miserable. This podcast will make you feel more confident at work, be a better peer, team member, and boss, and offer a new perspective on how work can be. Introduce “WorkLife with Adam Grant” into your own work life.

Listen to ‘WorkLife with Adam Grant’

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