Key Points – Give and Take

Adam Grant takes a look at how being a giver or a taker will effect your career and gives recommendations what to do so you can achieve greater success in life.

You can get the book on Amazon (Affiliate Link)

In short there are two extremes of reciprocity spectrum:

  • Takers – Put their own interest before others, they self-promote and ensure they get plenty of credit for their effort.
  • Givers – prefer to give more than they take. They pay attention to that what they can give. They are other-focused looking at what other people need from them.

Lastly, there are the Matchers, where giving and taking is equal. Depending on the situation you may have a different style of reciprocity, however overall you are going to tend to prefer overall a specific style.

You can observe an interesting phenomenon. If you look at the success ladder, you will find at the bottom givers, in the middle takers, and at the top again givers. Givers succeed because they create value that everyone succeeds. If you don’t make enemies it is easier to succeed.

Little acts of kindness can go a long way. You can rely on your network for a much longer time and even connections that have become dormant can be reactivated over a long period of time.

However in order to be a good giver you have to consider

  • Selfless givers – have an unhealthy focus on others and neglect their own needs, in the end, they harm themselves. They run out of energy, it becomes overwhelming.
  • Otherish giving: You still help with no strings attached, you just don’t overextend yourself.

There are two great forces of human nature: self-interest, and caring for others

Bill Gates

When concern for others is coupled with a healthy dose of concern for the self – givers are less prone to burning out and getting burned and are in the position to flourish.

As a giver you must overcome the doormat effect. – If you start helping everyone without saying no, you appear as a pushover. Givers fall into the trap of being too trusting, too empathetic, and too timid. Start to evaluate if you are being taken advantage of. To overcome this effect you also need to become otherish. Set boundaries, evaluate more the people around you, have your own self-interests at heart.

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