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October 2019 Book Club - Give & Take, Adam Grant

This month's DF book club features Give & Take by Adam Grant.



give & take, adam grant


Book description (Source: Amazon):

Everybody knows that hard work, luck and talent each plays a role in our working lives. In his landmark book, Adam Grant illuminates the importance of a fourth, increasingly critical factor - that the best way to get to the top is to focus on bringing others with you.

Give and Take changes our fundamental understanding of why we succeed, offering a new model for our relationships with colleagues, clients and competitors.


Using his own cutting-edge research as a professor at Wharton Business School, as well as success stories from Hollywood to history, Grant shows that nice guys need not finish last. He demonstrates how smart givers avoid becoming doormats, and why this kind of success has the power to transform not just individuals and groups, but entire organizations and communities.


Tldr (spoiler alert):

Source: University of Arizona

According to Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, “highly successful people have three things in common: motivation, ability, and opportunity. If we want to succeed, [there is] a fourth ingredient, one that’s critical but often neglected: success depends heavily on how we approach our interactions with other people. Do you try to contribute to others without expecting anything in return, do you seek to claim as much value as you can from the relationship, or do you aim for a fair exchange? In short – are you a giver, a taker or a matcher? Grant has found that these three approaches underpin all our relationships and networks.


  • Givers – give to others without expecting anything in return. They are focused on what others may need from them. They never seem too busy to help out, they give credit to others, mentor generously, and actively share their time, knowledge, ideas, and connections.


  • Takers – seek to maximize what they can get from others. They see the world as a dog-eat-dog competitive place, and in order to succeed they need to promote their competence and ensure they get credit for their efforts. They become defensive and protective about knowledge and resources.


  • Matchers – strive for an equal balance of giving and receiving. They believe in fairness, so when they help others they expect an even exchange of favors. They give when they believe they will get something of equal value in return and help those who can help them in return.”


Discussion questions:

  • Can you think of situations where you instinctively operate as a matcher, taker, or giver?


  • What triggers bring out each style for you?


  • Who are the most successful givers that you know? (they can be personal connections or famous leaders)


  • How do you spot a taker? How do you find yourself interacting with them?


  • Are there any givers in your life that go unrecognized? How might you help recognize them in the future?


  • What type of giving do you find most meaningful and enjoyable - is it sharing your knowledge, connecting people, problem-solving, or finding ways to recognize others?


  • When someone asks you for help, how do you typically decide whether to help them yourself or try to connect them with someone else?


  • When all of the requests on your plate are overflowing, how do you avoid burnout?


  • How do you balance between looking for the potential in others and being realistic about their natural skills and potential?


Happy reading! :)



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