Takers, givers and matchers--which one are you? Give and Take offers a new line of thinking about success.

Author:Simmons, Bret L.
Position:Book review

about the book

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success

by Adam Grant

Viking, 2013

320 pages

Stanford University business professor Bob Sutton said of Adam Grant's new book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, that it "just might be one of the most important new books of this young century," and proclaimed it a book every leader should read. I strongly concur.

Grant is one of the world's most prolific researchers in the field of organizational behavior and management. Unlike the overwhelming majority of books on leadership and management, this one is backed by several decades of excellent peer-reviewed scientific evidence on organizational citizenship and pro-social and helping behaviors. This is a substantive read, but Grant weaves in real-life stories to support his argument: that helping others can actually help you be more successful.

Grant's research shows that all of us assume one of three types of postures toward others: taker, giver or matcher. "Whereas takers view success as attaining results that are superior to others' and matchers see success in terms of balancing individual accomplishments with fairness to others, givers characterize success as individual achievements that have a positive impact on others," he writes. Grant's call to action for all of us is to "focus attention and energy on making a difference in the lives of others, and success might follow as a by-product."

Takers are selfish. Selfish people can win in the short run but are much less likely to build a legacy of enduring...

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