Give and Take – Adam Grant

The previous book I read, Trillion Dollar Coach, had references of Give and Take , Adam Grant. This book extensively talks about the giving and taking behavior. The people who give more end up being more successful in life. We come across takers in life at multiple instances. Thinking more about it, takers will be more in developing nations because of the system. 

If you are too much of a giver, it could potentially become a problem. People take you for granted. However Givers win in the end. He compares Givers to Matchers and Takers. Takers always have their own interests ahead of everyone else. Adam relates to some CEOs who have a full page picture of them on their annual reports. It is interesting to relate this to Politics and reading Adam’s book, you can infer that politicians today are predominantly on the Takers end (and this is not surprising).  However Adam talks about Abraham Lincoln where he created opportunities to his competition and eventually ended up becoming the President of the United States. Adam says, being a giver can be an impressive political resource. He compares givers to running a marathon. While they may not be successful in the 100m race, they will eventually earn in the long run. 

‘The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good’. Quote from Samuel Johnson. Also, you never know where somebody is going to end up. Adam also recommends to reactivate the dormant ties. This is a great networking idea. Adam also talks about Paying it forward. If someone helps, you help someone else. He recommends being generous and rewards will follow suit. Common Ground is a key influence of giving behavior. When we ask people for advice they respond positively to us. Appeal to pride by constantly seeking successful people’s opinion and advice and they will admire you for your judgement and wisdom. It has to be a genuine request and always good to ask.

Corporate World:

This book has some great lessons for the corporate world.  Talented people are attracted to those who care about them. When you help someone be promoted out of your team it is a short term loss. But Long term gain. It is easier to attract people because the word spreads around that your philosophy is to help people. He also recommends group mentoring instead of one on one.  Towards the end, Adam also gives a checklist of list of things you can do post reading the book. Adam recommends crafting your job around your hobbies and calls this job crafting. He also highlights the need for listening. We could also relate to Bill Campbell after reading this book. 

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