Natty Leach, Associate Director
With the summer now fully upon us, I’ve been trying to catch up on a few podcasts. Something I heard recently that instantly caught my attention wasn’t even part of an actual podcast, but more of a teaser.
Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point and profound thinker of thoughts, has a fascinating podcast, Revisionist History, on things misunderstood and what implications may stem from these missteps. It was through a bonus episode leading up to the new season that I heard Gladwell speak with Adam Grant, University Pennsylvania’s own professor and podcast host of his own. The two talk mostly about social and cultural dynamics in the workplace, the effectiveness of teams, and more. And while they may not have been so explicit, I think there’s a lot to think about especially in regards to starting a new role or during an internship this summer.
A few highlights:
Gladwell talks about how his creative process is driven by a sense of specificity rather than pontificating broadly. By examining minute details while keeping an eye on the lesson or implication this has for the big picture, everything is more interesting. That point may be relevant in how you go about examining complicated problems or could even apply to something like a cover letter where adding specific details can really illustrate your skills and accomplishments.
Environment is hugely linked to success and many times this environment is created through teams. In whatever you’re doing this summer, think about how your work is influenced and strengthened by the environment around you and, in particular, how you fit into the groups of people who shape that environment.
So, Gladwell’s answer of being as bumbling and passive aggressive as possible is probably not the best way to express your opinion. I did, however, just today on my commute to work hear a take on this through another podcast, Simms & Lefkoe, who highlight the importance of showing a sample of results when bringing a new idea to the table.
If you have some time this summer either to yourself or during a commute, the whole talk is definitely worth checking out and could even reveal some of the workplace dynamics of your summer internship or job.