Give and Take (Book Review)

In the book “Give and Take,” author Adam Grant outlines different reciprocity styles, including: givers, matchers, and takers. He then poses a question: which style would you guess is most likely at the bottom of the success ladder? While givers can be at the bottom, organizational psychologist and Wharton professor Adam Grant’s research reveals they are also at the top. Why the difference? He found that successful givers have an otherish outlook, seeking to benefit both others and themselves for a win/win outcome. Successful givers avoid burnout by learning to identify takers and adjusting style accordingly, setting boundaries and priorities, and choosing to give in ways that are meaningful and where feedback on results is visible.

The author backs up his points with many examples of successful givers. Adding value for others can be as simple as a five minute favor, an idea outlined in chapter two: The Peacock and the Panda. Look for ways to help someone with an introduction, information, feedback, or recognition. Adopting a more giving style can be as easy as deciding to be more intentional and proactive at seeking out opportunities to do a five minute favor.

Giving often adds value on both sides, as demonstrated in this Friends episode when Phoebe seeks a selfless good deed.

I’ll be watching for his next book which is due out in February 2016, written with Sheryl Sandburg, called “Originals: how non-conformists rule the world.”

Articles about “Give and Take”

The Art of the Five Minute Favor at Big Think

Why Givers (often) Succeed at Dan Pink

Adam Grant: Give and Take at Business Insider

Be a Giver Not a Taker to Succeed at Work at Forbes

How to Build a Culture of Givers at Inc.

Givers and Takers: The Surprising Truth About Who Gets Ahead at Wharton

I seek to create order from the chaos of complex information. Join me at the Daily PlanIt to gain insights, inspiration, and information to increase skills for a better life. I unlock the power of teaching reading with phonics in the pursuit of literacy at In my spare time I explore books and movies, often choosing titles available on both screen and page.

Posted in Books, Ideas That Work
2 comments on “Give and Take (Book Review)
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