Give and Take by Adam Grant
  • Title: Give and Take
  • Subtitle: A Revolutionary Approach to Success
  • Author(s): Adam Grant
  • Publisher: Hachette UK
  • Year: 2013-04-11
  • ISBN-10: 0297869825
  • ISBN-13: 9780297869825


“Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success” by Adam Grant is a compelling exploration of how a giving mindset can lead to both personal fulfillment and professional success. Grant, a renowned organizational psychologist, categorizes individuals into three distinct reciprocity styles: givers, matchers, and takers. He argues that givers, those who prioritize helping others without expecting anything in return, are often the most successful and influential in their fields. Through a wealth of research and real-life examples, Grant demonstrates how givers build stronger networks, foster trust, and ultimately achieve long-term success by creating a positive ripple effect in their interactions.

The book challenges the conventional notion that being overly self-focused is the key to success, instead highlighting the power of altruism and collaboration in shaping our professional journeys. Grant debunks common misconceptions about giving, showing that givers can indeed protect themselves from exploitation and burnout by adopting a strategic approach to giving. “Give and Take” offers readers valuable insights and practical advice on how to cultivate a giving mindset, create a more generous and supportive workplace culture, and ultimately achieve both personal and organizational success through the power of giving.

Book Review

“Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success” by Adam Grant is a thought-provoking and enlightening exploration of the power of giving in personal and professional life. Through extensive research, real-life examples, and compelling storytelling, Grant presents a compelling case for the profound impact of a giving mindset on achieving long-term success.

The book introduces three distinct reciprocity styles: givers, matchers, and takers. Givers are those who prioritize helping others, often going above and beyond to offer support, knowledge, and resources without expecting anything in return. Matchers seek to maintain an equal balance of giving and receiving, while takers are primarily focused on maximizing personal gain and may take advantage of others to achieve their goals.

One of the book’s key insights is that givers are not necessarily destined to be doormats or pushovers. Instead, Grant showcases how givers can strategically protect themselves from exploitation and burnout. By setting boundaries, learning to say no to excessive demands, and seeking reciprocity from matchers and other givers, givers can thrive without compromising their generous nature.

Grant backs up his claims with a wealth of research evidence. For instance, he cites studies showing that givers are more likely to build stronger, more diverse networks compared to takers. These rich networks provide givers with access to a wide range of information, resources, and opportunities, ultimately enhancing their success. The book also highlights how givers foster trust and collaboration within their teams and organizations, leading to higher levels of employee engagement and creativity.

The author uses real-life examples to illustrate the success of givers in various fields. One such example is Adam Rifkin, a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur, who has built a stellar reputation as a giver. Rifkin generously shares his time and expertise with others, earning the trust and admiration of colleagues and investors. As a result, he has become a sought-after collaborator, leading to the growth of his network and the success of his ventures.

“Give and Take” also delves into the idea of “five-minute favors,” where givers provide quick, simple acts of kindness to others. These seemingly small gestures can have significant ripple effects, creating a culture of generosity and cooperation. Grant explains how these acts of kindness can lead to greater reciprocity, with others being more willing to help givers in return, creating a virtuous cycle of giving.

Another intriguing concept in the book is “powerless communication,” where givers communicate their vulnerability and openness to others. This form of communication fosters trust and deepens relationships, making givers more approachable and likable.

In conclusion, “Give and Take” is a captivating and well-researched book that challenges conventional notions of success and highlights the power of giving in achieving long-term success. Adam Grant’s insights and evidence-based approach provide a compelling case for embracing a giving mindset in both personal and professional life. By illustrating how givers can thrive, protect themselves, and create a culture of generosity, the book offers valuable lessons for individuals, teams, and organizations seeking to achieve success through the power of giving and collaboration. Whether you are a leader, a team member, or simply someone interested in making a positive impact, “Give and Take” is a recommended read that will change the way you approach relationships and success.

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Target Audience

The book “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success” by Adam Grant is targeted at a wide audience, including individuals in various professional fields, leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, and anyone interested in personal development and fostering positive relationships. The book is recommended reading for the following audiences:

  • Professionals and Leaders Professionals and leaders, whether in business, non-profit organizations, or academia, can benefit greatly from the insights offered in “Give and Take.” The book challenges the conventional belief that self-interest and competition are the primary drivers of success. Instead, it presents a compelling case for the power of giving and collaboration in building strong networks, fostering trust, and achieving long-term success. By adopting a giving mindset, professionals and leaders can create a positive and supportive work environment, leading to higher employee engagement, enhanced creativity, and improved team dynamics.

  • Entrepreneurs and Business Owners For entrepreneurs and business owners, “Give and Take” offers valuable lessons on building a successful and sustainable business. The book highlights how givers can create a positive reputation and attract collaborators, customers, and investors. By nurturing a culture of giving within their organizations, entrepreneurs can foster loyalty among employees and enhance their company’s overall reputation, leading to potential business growth and success.

  • Educators and Students Educators and students can also benefit from the book’s insights on collaboration, reciprocity, and building meaningful relationships. By encouraging a giving mindset among students, educators can promote a culture of support and cooperation in the learning environment. Furthermore, students can apply the principles of giving and reciprocity to build a strong network, seek mentors, and leverage opportunities that lead to academic and career success.

  • Anyone Interested in Personal Development “Give and Take” is an excellent resource for anyone interested in personal growth and development. The book provides practical advice on how to cultivate a giving mindset, set boundaries to avoid burnout, and create a positive impact in one’s personal and professional life. By embracing the principles of giving, individuals can build more meaningful relationships, experience a sense of fulfillment, and contribute positively to their communities.

In conclusion, “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success” is recommended reading for a wide audience seeking to achieve success while fostering positive relationships and making a positive impact. Adam Grant’s evidence-based approach and real-life examples provide actionable insights on how giving can lead to greater success, happiness, and personal fulfillment. Whether you are a professional, leader, entrepreneur, educator, student, or someone seeking personal growth, “Give and Take” offers valuable lessons that can transform the way you approach relationships, collaboration, and achieving success in various areas of life.