Before you watch

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant studies «originals»: thinkers who dream up new ideas and take action to put them into the world. Grant’s new book “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World” examines how unconventional thinkers overturn the status quo and champion game-changing ideas.

Vocabulary notes:

Procrastinator — someone who delays or postpones action, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness

Minesweeper —single-player puzzle video game

While you watch

While watching, pay attention to the following words and expressions in context. Use them in your answers to the questions below and discussion.

on the surface / behind the scenes

self-doubt / idea-doubt

energizing / paralyzing

to outperform

technical advantage

to accept the default option / to doubt the default

After you watch

Answer the questions:

  1. Why is it Adam’s wife who deals with their investments now?
  2. How does Adam define originals?
  3. What are the main characteristics of a ‘prEcrastinator’?
  4. What kind of experiment was conducted to find out the effect of procrastination on original thinking?
  5. What great original thinkers were also known as ‘great’ procrastinators? How did procrastination affect their most outstanding works?
  6. What two types of doubt does Adam identify?
  7. How can one’s choice of a browser characterize a person?
  8. What kind of fear do original thinkers have? Is it constructive or destructive?

Listen to reproduce:

Listen to another part of the presentation (8:57 to 11:04) and try to reproduce what the speaker is saying about doubt and its link to your choice of a browser. Make use of the following word expressions (do your best to speak as close to the original text as possible):

Discuss in pairs:

  1. Comment on the statement: “Procrastinating is a vice when it comes to productivity, but it can be a virtue for creativity.”  Do you agree? Do you think procrastination leads to success or may result in total failure? Can procrastinators become leaders?
  2. Are you a procrastinator? Do you perform better when you have to meet tight deadlines or when the time limit is rather flexible?
  3. Do you agree that fear and doubt may contribute to success? Is it doubt that drives leadership?