Summary of Give and Take

A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant

“What if the key to individual success was making the world a better place and helping others? What if the secret to success is “givers prosper?”

As Zig Ziglar wrote, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” Adam Grant also sees a connection between success and being a Giver. His book, “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success,” divides the world into Givers, Takers and Matchers. He shows that Takers and Matchers end up in the middle of the income ladder, while Givers hold the top and bottom ranks. So, what are the attributes of Givers, Takers and Matchers? What separates top-ranked Givers from unsuccessful, bottom-ranked Givers?

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Are You a Giver, a Taker or a Matcher?
Givers, Takers and Matchers share certain characteristics, as Grant shows. They differ most in their communication style and how they interact with others. Givers encourage creativity and excellence, and offer help with no strings attached. However, they are not completely selfless dreamers. Successful Givers protect themselves from burnout and help others while still pursuing their own goals. They are prudent with their time and energy.

What Is a Giver?
Givers’ unselfish ways earns respect and admiration. Their method of communication is “powerless.” They don’t assert their power or dominate others, but instead they gain influence by their behavior, which includes demonstrating vulnerability, sharing, listening, and showing interest and curiosity in others. A Giver validates other people so they open up without feeling manipulated or coerced.

What Is a Taker?
So, what characteristics define a taker? Grant’s Takers network and use charm to seduce people into doing their bidding. Grant cites Enron’s CEO Ken Lay as a perfect example of a Taker – someone who is very successful, until he’s not. Takers reserve their charm for popular or powerful people who can help them advance.

What Is a Matcher?
Matchers tend to be scorekeepers and they base their communication or networking style on reciprocity. Unfortunately, matchers tend to see interaction on a “tit for tat” basis. Their focus is on their immediate benefit. This approach inhibits the giving process because it assumes that every gift come with a prerequisite. Matchers seek a fair-enough exchange and correlate their behavior with that of the people around them. They initially treat Takers well, but after the takers inevitably betray them, Matchers punish them. But no one cares – that’s just part of the swap. People care about Givers.

Give and TAke

 

 
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