Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas on Leading with Strength and Sincerity

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In this episode of Re:Thinking with Adam Grant, Adam speaks with Kaja Kallas, Estonia’s prime minister—the first woman to hold the position. She speaks with Adam about what we can learn from the past when thinking about future consequences, the risks of being inauthentic, and what qualities distinguish the best leaders from the rest.

Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist who studies work motivation, job design, and prosocial and proactive behaviors. His research examines the forces that motivate employees to help others, and the implications of these behaviors for success and well-being. Although many employees do work that has a meaningful impact on others, all too often, they lack a vivid understanding of how their efforts make a difference. Grant’s studies demonstrate that employees work harder, smarter, longer, more generously, and more productively when they can see how their work affects others. He is the author, most recently, of Think Again among others.

Kaja Kallas is the first female Prime Minister of Estonia. She assumed office in January 2021. Kallas’s political career began in 2011, when she was a member of the 12th Riigikogu. Kallas served as the Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee in 2011 and later the Chairman of the Faction in 2014. From 2014 to 2018, she served as a member of the European Parliament. In 2019, Kallas served again as a member of the 14th Riigikogu and the Chairman of the Faction. She resigned on 14 July 2022 to form a new government that was sworn in on July 18. Prior to her election to Parliament, Kallas was an attorney specializing in European and Estonian competition law. She received a degree in law from the University of Tartu in 1999 and completed postgraduate studies at the Estonian Business School in 2007.