Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant
If you want to succeed in your career, you might think that you need to be passionate, hard-working, talented, and lucky. But according to Adam Grant, an award-winning researcher and Wharton's highest-rated professor, there is another factor that matters more than any of these: how you interact with others.
In his bestselling book Give and Take, Grant reveals that success is not just about individual traits and skills, but also about how we relate to other people. He argues that there are three basic styles of interaction: takers, matchers, and givers. And he shows that these styles have a surprising impact on our outcomes and happiness in work and life.
In this article, we will summarize the main concepts and themes of Give and Take, explain why it is relevant and useful for readers, and provide some practical tips on how to apply its insights in your own life and career.
The Three Styles of Interaction: Takers, Matchers, and Givers
Grant defines takers as people who try to get as much as possible from others while giving as little as they can. They are self-focused, competitive, and opportunistic. They tend to see interactions as zero-sum games, where their gain is someone else's loss. They often take credit for others' work, hoard resources and information, and exploit others for their own benefit.
Matchers are people who try to trade evenly with others. They are fair-minded, reciprocal, and pragmatic. They tend to see interactions as exchanges of value, where they give something only if they expect something in return. They often follow the norm of tit-for-tat, where they reward those who help them and punish those who harm them.
Givers are people who try to contribute to others without expecting anything in return. They are other-focused, generous, and helpful. They tend to see interactions as opportunities to create value for everyone involved. They often share their knowledge, skills, time, energy, ideas, and connections with others freely and willingly.
Grant argues that these styles are not fixed personality traits, but rather flexible preferences that we can choose depending on the situation. However, he also suggests that most of us have a dominant style that reflects our default approach to interacting with others.
According to Grant's research, these styles have a significant impact on our success and happiness in work and life. He found that across different domains and industries, givers tend to achieve the best results, while takers tend to perform the worst. He also found that givers tend to be more satisfied, engaged, and fulfilled in their work and relationships, while takers tend to be more stressed, unhappy, and isolated.
However, he also cautions that not all givers are equally successful or happy. He distinguishes between two types of givers: selfless givers and otherish givers. Selfless givers are those who give without regard for their own interests and needs. They often sacrifice their time, energy, and resources for others, even when it hurts their own well-being and performance. Otherish givers are those who give with a balance of concern for others and themselves. They are strategic and smart about their giving. They know when, how, and to whom to give, and they also know when to say no and take care of themselves.
Grant shows that otherish givers are the ones who achieve the most success and happiness, while selfless givers are the ones who suffer the most from being exploited or burned out by takers and matchers.
The Benefits and Challenges of Being a Giver
Grant provides many examples of how givers can achieve extraordinary results across different domains and industries. He shows how givers can:
Build trust, rapport, and goodwill with their clients, customers, colleagues, and partners
Increase their creativity, productivity, and innovation by sharing their ideas and feedback with others
Expand their network and influence by connecting with diverse and influential people
Enhance their reputation and credibility by being generous with their praise and recognition
Develop their skills and knowledge by learning from others and teaching others
Inspire and motivate others to perform better and cooperate more
However, he also acknowledges the challenges and risks that givers face. He shows how givers can:
Be taken advantage of or manipulated by takers who exploit their generosity
Lose time, energy, and resources by giving too much or too often to others
Feel guilty or resentful when they cannot meet everyone's expectations or requests
Be perceived as weak, naive, or incompetent by others who do not value or appreciate their giving
Neglect their own goals, needs, and well-being by prioritizing others over themselves
To overcome these challenges and risks, Grant offers some practical advice on how givers can avoid being exploited or burned out by takers and matchers. He suggests that givers should:
Screen out takers by looking for signs of selfishness, dishonesty, or entitlement
Limit their giving to matchers by setting boundaries, expectations, and reciprocity
Focus their giving on other givers by identifying those who share their values and vision
Chunk their giving into dedicated blocks of time rather than sprinkling it throughout the day
Seek help from others when they need it rather than trying to do everything by themselves
The Power of Reciprocity and Generosity
Grant also explores how givers can create a culture of giving and collaboration in their organizations and networks. He argues that giving is not only beneficial for individuals, but also for groups and societies. He demonstrates that when people adopt a giver mindset, they can:
Create a positive cycle of reciprocity and generosity that encourages more giving from others
Foster a sense of community and belonging that enhances trust, loyalty, and commitment
Promote a culture of learning and growth that facilitates knowledge sharing and skill development
Increase the diversity and quality of ideas that spark creativity and innovation
Achieve higher levels of performance and impact that benefit everyone involved
To influence others to become more generous and cooperative, Grant offers some practical tips on how givers can:
Lead by example by modeling giving behaviors and values
Communicate the purpose and impact of their giving to inspire others to join them
Acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of others to reinforce positive behaviors
Challenge and empower others to give more by providing opportunities and support
Create norms and incentives that reward giving behaviors and outcomes
To balance their own interests and needs with those of others, Grant advises givers to:
Clarify their goals and priorities before engaging in giving activities
Evaluate the costs and benefits of their giving for themselves and others
Give and Take is a book that challenges the conventional wisdom that success is all about individual traits and skills. It shows that how we interact with others is equally, if not more, important for achieving our goals and happiness. It reveals that there are three styles of interaction: takers, matchers, and givers. And it demonstrates that givers are the ones who often enjoy the most success and satisfaction, as long as they are otherish and not selfless.
The book is relevant and useful for readers who want to improve their personal and professional lives by becoming more generous and cooperative. It provides compelling evidence and captivating stories that illustrate the benefits and challenges of being a giver. It also offers practical advice and tools that can help readers adopt a giver mindset, avoid being exploited or burned out, create a culture of giving, influence others to give more, and balance their own interests and needs with those of others.
The book is not only informative, but also inspiring and entertaining. It is written in a clear, engaging, and conversational style that makes it easy to read and understand. It is filled with fascinating examples and anecdotes that showcase the power and impact of giving and taking. It is also based on rigorous research and data that support its claims and recommendations.
In conclusion, Give and Take is a book that can change the way you think about success and happiness. It can help you become a more effective and fulfilled giver who contributes to others without expecting anything in return. It can also help you create a more positive and productive environment for yourself and others. It is a book that can make you a better person and a better leader.
Here are some common questions that readers might have about the book or the topic:
What are some ways to identify takers, matchers, and givers?
Some possible ways to identify takers, matchers, and givers are:
Look at their communication style: takers tend to use more self-promoting language, matchers tend to use more quid pro quo language, and givers tend to use more other-oriented language.
Look at their network structure: takers tend to have more disconnected contacts, matchers tend to have more reciprocal contacts, and givers tend to have more diverse and interconnected contacts.
Look at their feedback behavior: takers tend to give more negative or self-serving feedback, matchers tend to give more balanced or reciprocal feedback, and givers tend to give more positive or constructive feedback.
How can I become a more otherish giver?
Some possible ways to become a more otherish giver are:
Clarify your goals and values: identify what matters most to you and why you want to give to others.
Evaluate your impact: measure how much value you create for yourself and others through your giving.
Select your recipients: choose who you want to help based on their needs, potential, and appreciation.
Optimize your resources: allocate your time, energy, and resources wisely based on your availability, capacity, and priorities.
Seek help from others: ask for support or guidance from other givers or matchers when you need it.
How can I influence others to become more generous?
Some possible ways to influence others to become more generous are:
Lead by example: model giving behaviors and values in your own actions.
Communicate the purpose: explain why giving is important and meaningful for yourself and others.
Acknowledge the contributions: recognize and appreciate the efforts and outcomes of other givers.
How can I download the book in epub format?
There are several ways to download the book in epub format, depending on your preferences and devices. Here are some possible options:
You can buy the book from online retailers such as Amazon, Google Play, or eBooks.com, and download it to your Kindle, Android, or iOS devices.
You can borrow the book from online libraries such as OverDrive or Libby, and download it to your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
You can find the book from online sources such as OceanofPDF or Z-Library, and download it to your device or cloud storage.
What are some other books that are similar to Give and Take?
If you enjoyed Give and Take and want to read more books that are similar to it, you might like these books:
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant. This book explores how people can generate and champion new ideas that challenge the status quo.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. This book explains how habits work and how we can change them for the better.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. This book celebrates the strengths and contributions of introverts in a society that favors extroverts.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink. This book reveals that the secret to high performance and satisfaction is not external rewards, but intrinsic motivation.
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor. This book shows how happiness can boost our productivity and performance at work.