- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (December 10, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781780224725
- ISBN-13: 978-1780224725
- ASIN: 1780224729
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 281 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2.858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success Paperback – 10 December 2013
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Packed with cutting-edge research, concrete examples, and deep insight, Give and Take offers extraordinarily thought-provoking - and often surprising - conclusions about how our interactions with others drive our success and happiness. This important and compulsively-readable book deserves to be a huge success -- Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project Give and Take is a brilliant, well-documented, and motivating debunking of 'good guys finish last'! I've noticed for years that generosity generates its own kind of equity, and Grant's fascinating research and engaging style have created not only a solid validation of that principle but also practical wisdom and techniques for utilizing it more effectively. This is a super manifesto for getting meaningful things done, sustainably -- David Allen, author of Getting Things Done With Give and Take, Adam Grant has marshaled compelling evidence for a revolutionary way of thinking about personal success in business and in life. Besides the fundamentally uplifting character of the case he makes, readers will be delighted by the truly engaging way he makes it. This is a must read -- Robert Cialdini, author of Influence Give and Take is a pleasure to read, extraordinarily informative, and will likely become one of the classic books on workplace leadership and management. It has changed the way I see my personal and professional relationships, and has encouraged me to be a more thoughtful friend and colleague -- Jeff Ashby, NASA space shuttle commander Give and Take cuts through the clutter of cliches in the marketplace and provides a refreshing new perspective on the art and science of success. Adam Grant has crafted a unique, 'must have' toolkit for accomplishing goals through collaboration and reciprocity -- William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. Give and Take is brimming with life-changing insights. As brilliant as it is wise, this is not just a book - it's a new and shining worldview. Adam Grant is one of the great social scientists of our time, and his extraordinary new book is sure to be a bestseller -- Susan Cain, author of Quiet Give and Take is a truly exhilarating book - the rare work that will shatter your assumptions about how the world works and keep your brain firing for weeks after you've turned the last page -- Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and To Sell is Human Give and Take just might be the most important book of this young century. As insightful and entertaining as Malcolm Gladwell at his best, this book has profound implications for how we manage our careers, deal with our friends and relatives, raise our children, and design our institutions. This gem is a joy to read, and it shatters the myth that greed is the path to success -- Robert Sutton, author of The No Asshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss Backed up by anecdotes of success across a range of industries and scenarios, as well as numerous academic studies, the arguments of Give and Take are grounded in ample research ... His writing style draws you in ... [I]t's an interesting take on game theory in a practical context, and the notion that givers can succeed is an inspirational one * City A.M. * Give and Take is perfectly timed and beautifully weighted ... Above all, Grant's book is optimistic, a refreshing change after years of reading angry indictments of fallen corporate idols ... [An] excellent book -- Andrew Hill * Financial Times *
About the Author
Adam Grant is the youngest tenured professor at Wharton, and an award-winning researcher and teacher. Previously, he was a record-setting salesperson, negotiator, and advertising director at Let's Go Publications; an All-American and Junior Olympic springboard diver; a conflict mediator; and a professional magician. You can follow Adam Grant on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AdamMGrant and join him on Facebook www.facebook.com/profadamgrant.
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I have believed in this cliché my entire life. I could probably think of at least a dozen examples in my life where I saw a self-centered person hired, promoted, or in some way rewarded while I (or someone I know) is ignored, passed by, or even punished. In those moments, it can be completely debilitating. That’s why the “nice guys finish last” cliché is so powerful. It feels so true.
However, there’s a difference between something feeling true and something being true.
In Adam Grant’s Give and Take, he identifies three types of people: givers, matchers, and takers. Givers are the selfless ones. Matchers are the quid pro quo group, and takers are the selfish ones. Conventional wisdom tells us takers get ahead, but in Grant’s research, givers rise to the top more frequently.
As I read this book I was kind of in disbelief the whole time, but page after page, Grant hit me with more evidence. I definitely think of myself as a giver (though I know I’m not perfect, I’m sure I have regretfully done some matching and taking in my life) and if you look at my life right now I don’t think anyone would identify me as losing. Perhaps then I am evidence that over time givers rise to the tops as takers are exposed and matchers ignored.
This book is a case for giving: who gives, how to give, and where it takes us. There is one caveat to all this: it has to be authentic. Giving to get ahead is matching, not giving. People can see right through that.
I feared this book would be a “cover spoiler” which I define as a book where the title or cover gives you all the information you really need and the entire book just repeats itself over and over again 200+ pages, but this book is full of wisdom and insights. I think this book is a great investment for leaders young and old.
Here’s a great excerpt from the end of the book that wraps it up neatly: “We spend the majority of our waking hours at work. This means that what we do at work becomes a fundamental part of who we are. If we reserve giver values for our personal lives, what will be missing in our professional lives?”
Which one best describes you in business?
Of course, in marriage and friendships, we contribute whenever we can without keeping score. We also shift from one style of behaviour to another, across different work roles and relationships. However, we all have a primary style and it has been shown to play as much of a role in our work success as hard work, talent, and luck.
Which style of relating is most likely to end up at the bottom of the success ladder, and which style on top? Pause here for a moment and reflect on your personal experience.
Research demonstrates that givers sink to the bottom of the success ladder - they make others better off, but sacrifice their own success. In a study of more than 160 engineers in California the least successful engineers were those who gave more than they received. A study of more than 600 medical students in Belgium, showed the lowest grades going to those described as givers. Salespeople were no different, with givers generating 2 ½ times less in annual sales.
“On average, givers earn 14% less money, have twice the risk of becoming victims of crimes, and are judged as 22 % less powerful and dominant,” reports author Professor Adam Grant, the youngest full professor of the Wharton School of Business.
If the givers are at the bottom of the success ladder, who then is at the top—takers or matchers?
The data reveals a surprising pattern – the givers again! “This pattern holds up across the board,” Grant reports. “The top performers were givers, and they averaged 50 percent more annual revenue than the takers and matchers.” It was only at the start of medical school that givers underperformed. They increased their scores each year and by the sixth year, the givers earned substantially higher grades than their peers. When the givers became doctors, they climbed still further ahead. And this pattern holds true across occupations.
David Hornik, a venture capitalist, is admired for his commitment to acting in the best interests of entrepreneurs. When he gives an entrepreneur a term sheet - a bullet-point document outlining the material terms and conditions of a business agreement - he also suggests that they shop around to ensure they get the best deal for themselves. Other investors, and if it is a promising deal there are always others, give entrepreneurs a tight deadline to respond to their offer in order to prevent shopping around.
The best venture capitalists have an acceptance rate of nearly 50% of the term sheets they offer. In the 11 years as a venture capitalist, Hornik has offered 28 term sheets and twenty-five have accepted.
“In this book, I want to persuade you that we underestimate the success of givers like David Hornik,” Grant asserts.
Giving can be more powerful and less dangerous than most would believe. “Givers reverse the popular plan of succeeding first and giving back later, raising the possibility that those who give first are often best positioned for success later,” Adam explains. The venture capitalist Randy Komisar remarks, “It’s easier to win if everybody wants you to win… (If) you don’t make enemies out there, it’s easier to succeed.”
Success is less about raw talent or aptitude, and more about the strategies givers use. Givers are not necessarily nice, and they’re not necessarily altruistic.
In a purely win-lose interaction, giving rarely pays. Most of life is not win-lose. People who choose giving as their primary reciprocity style end up reaping rewards. One reason why givers take time to succeed, is that it takes time for givers to build goodwill and trust, and establish reputations and relationships that enhance their success.
“Being a giver is not good for a 100-yard dash, but it’s valuable in a marathon,” says Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels. Today, speed is making the long-run shorter, and technology is amplifying the advantages of being a giver. In the past, most people worked in independent jobs that rarely required collaboration, so it was fairly inefficient to be a giver. Today, more than 80 percent of Americans work in service jobs where giving is not a choice, but a business necessity.
Steve Jones, the former CEO of one of the largest banks in Australia, commissioned a study of successful financial advisers. It was not financial expertise or effort that made for success, it “was whether a financial adviser had the client’s best interests at heart, above the company’s and even his own.”
All this needs to be calibrated by observation, that too many givers become pushovers and doormats, and fail to advance their own interests. What differentiates successful givers from failed givers is the degree to which the givers expressed two key motivations: self-interest and other-interest. Self-interest involves pursuing power and achievement, and other-interest focuses on being generous and helpful.
This is well illustrated by a study of “Caring Canadian” award winners. The award is made by the Governor General of Canada to honour volunteers. In their life stories, these highly successful givers mentioned a quest for power and achievement almost twice as often as the comparison group. They also had roughly 20% more objectives related to gaining influence, earning recognition, and attaining individual excellence.
Takers score high in self-interest and low in other-interest and selfless givers score high on other-interest and low on self-interest. Selfless giving is a form of pathological altruism, an unhealthy focus on others to the detriment of one’s own needs.
“If takers are selfish and failed givers are selfless, successful givers are “otherish”: they care about benefiting others, but they also have ambitious goals for advancing their own interests,” Grant concludes.
Much food for thought.
Readability Light --+-- Serious
Insights High +---- Low
Practical High --+--Low
*Ian Mann of Gateways consults internationally on leadership and strategy and is the author of
Strategy that Works