Grant in July 2012
Adam M. Grant|
August 13, 1981
West Bloomfield, Michigan, U.S.
Adam M. Grant (born August 13, 1981) is an American psychologist and author who is currently a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania specializing in organizational psychology. He received academic tenure aged 28, making him the youngest tenured professor at the Wharton School.
Adam M. Grant was born in the township of West Bloomfield, Michigan on August 13, 1981 to a lawyer father and a teacher mother. He grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. Grant participated in springboard diving and aspired to be a professional basketball player growing up. During high school, he was named an All-American in 1999.
He received a B.A. from Harvard College, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan in organizational psychology. He worked as a professional magician during college. While in graduate school, he married wife Allison, with whom he has three children.
Grant was hired by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to serve as an assistant professor for organizational behavior in 2007. After publishing several papers in academic journals, he was hired as an associate professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, becoming the school's youngest tenured professor at age 28. He was ranked by students the best professor at the university from 2011 to 2017. In 2013, he wrote his first book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success. As his first published book on organizational psychology, it explored the dynamics behind collaboration, negotiation, and networking in business. The book was received well by critics and commercially successful. Grant received criticism, however, for not focusing enough on work-life balance, with Andrew Offenbacher of the Huffington Post, noting that Grant's wife, Allison, performed most of the domestic labor in their household, seemingly without the kudos Grant received at Wharton. Grant's response defended his book's arguments but his discussion included less than a paragraph about his wife in a seven paragraph defense. The book went on to be translated in twenty-seven languages. Susan Dominus of The New York Times states that his book "incorporated scores of studies and personal case histories that suggest the benefits of an attitude of extreme giving at work." In recognition for his work, Grant was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a Thinkers50 Most Influential Global Management Thinker in 2015.
A year later he wrote his second book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. This study looked at the benefits for pursuing artistic avocations, constantly improving rather than constantly innovating business practices, and the benefits of procrastination. The book went on to be a New York Times bestseller and inspired a TED talk on the habits of original thinkers. Reviews of the book were mixed. While Scientific American praised Grant's work, The Guardian was more critical, noting, "At times, Grant could be accused of straying off-topic, especially when he is dispensing advice. Children taught how their bad behaviour affects others develop a moral sensibility lacking in those who are merely admonished, he writes, without providing a clear link to the concept of originality."  He was named to Fortune's 40 under 40 the same year In 2017, he co-authored his third book with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy. The book focused on Grant's close relationship with his co-author and her resilience after her husband's mysterious death at a Mexican resort. On August 8, 2017, a software engineer from Google published a 10-page manifesto that argued for man's superiority over women in leadership roles. Grant published a rebuff on LinkedIn which was widely circulated by financial news outlets. In his rebuff he outlined modern consensus among social scientists that believe there is "little to no" differences between the sexes in technical abilities.