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BOOK “Give and Take” by Adam Grant

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Andy Black

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I listened to this a few weeks ago. Lots of helpful stories and insights. A bit too much dry data for my liking, so it will be hard to listen to again. I’ll probably buy some cliff-notes or refer to this thread.

Here’s some of my takeaways (from memory). I’ll add more later.

There’s givers, matchers, and takers.

The least successful in an organisation are often givers because they spend so much time helping others that they neglect their own work.

The most successful in an organisation often aren’t matchers or takers, but are givers too. They’ve just figured out how to give better.

Feedback helps prevent giver burnout.

When a giver is nearing burnout they can give more and get motivation and energy.

People can be amiable or not. This is a different sliding scale from giver -> taker. A giver can be gruff, and a taker can be amiable. Be wary of amiable takers.

Selfless givers can burnout and not make much progress. Givers who protect themselves and leverage their natural tendencies can be very successful. (The author had a name for these that I didn’t understand... I’ll just call them smart givers.)


Anyone else read it? What were your takeaways?
 
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Nicoknowsbest

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Anyone else read it? What were your takeaways?

I read it upon your suggestion.

I had people call me too soft and not suited for the harsh world of business, because I was giving too much.

It went so far that I even thought to myself: "Dude, maybe you really don't have what it takes."

This book changed everything though. Because it explains that giving is essential to success, if you do it right. If you look at the hierarchy of income/success, you'll find that...

...givers who don't care about themselves are at the bottom...
...takers who only focus on taking are in the middle...
...as are matchers, who focus on taking back as much as they are giving...
...and at the top are again...

Givers!

But what is the difference between the top and the bottom giver? Actually, pretty simple. The giver at the top of the ladder always protected his downside, limiting his risk while giving as much as he possibly could.

This blew my mind!

Recommended reading, although it is a bit long. But you get the picture after a few minutes.
 

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On the topic of givers, I highly implore anyone to read the go-giver series by Bob Burg. Fantastic books.
 

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On the topic of givers, I highly implore anyone to read the go-giver series by Bob Burg. Fantastic books.

I didn’t know it was a series! I thought of the Go-Giver when I saw this thread but this other book sounds more practical.
 
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Andy Black

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I read this book a few years ago and I put it on my once a year reading list... Must be there for some reason. Haha I’ll have to read it again.
I actually thought of yourself when listening to it because it had a lot of advice and discussion about different leadership styles.
 

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Suzanne Bazemore

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I found it on Barnes & Noble for 1.99 but I gotta wait now for it to delivered. Siiiiighh 1st world problems. Lol
I have a Kindle now - instant gratification, no reading glasses required, it's backlit so I can read in the dark. Perfect.
And, I think I will buy this book, @Andy Black. It sounds interesting! Thanks for the recommendation.
 
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Primeperiwinkle

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I have a Kindle now - instant gratification, no reading glasses required, it's backlit so I can read in the dark. Perfect.
And, I think I will buy this book, @Andy Black. It sounds interesting! Thanks for the recommendation.

My kindle app on my phone has four books around 50% each and I’m seven chapters behind in a book discussion of Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott.

I’m trying to model reading in front of my kids vs. being on my phone so any new books coming in are all real ones. This way when I’m on the couch they can jump on me while at least thinking mommy’s getting smarter...lol
 
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Andy Black

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My kindle app on my phone has four books around 50% each and I’m seven chapters behind in a book discussion of Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott.

I’m trying to model reading in front of my kids vs. being on my phone so any new books coming in are all real ones. This way when I’m on the couch they can jump on me while at least thinking mommy’s getting smarter...lol
Ah... that’s a good idea. I will try to be seen reading more often in front of my kids.
 

Creed

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I really enjoyed this book, and it gave me some great insights that I'm applying in my own life. And guess what: it works!

There are three types of people: takers, matchers and givers.

Takers look at the world like a competition. It's eat or get eaten. These are the people that always ask 'What's in it for me?'. Takers mainly look out for themselves.

Matchers believe in fairness and live by 'quid pro quo'. If you give me something, I'll give you something back. If someone gives them something, they feel like they now owe that person something.

Givers believe that they can succeed by giving without expecting anything in return. They genuinely want to help others.

Concluding:
  • Takers try to get as much from other people as possible while contributing as little as they can.
  • Matchers' goal is 'fairness' - If I do something for you, you'll have to do something for me. You now owe me.
  • Givers enjoy helping others without expecting anything in return.

Think about this yourself: if someone helps you with something, you're generally inclined to give back to them (reciprocity). People that give without expecting anything in return often have great reputations. The opposite is true for takers. If they win, everybody else loses and they quickly build up a bad reputation.

Main takeaway for me was that there is a difference between types of givers. Some people give so much that they forget themselves and just want to please others. This often leads to overworking and never feeling good about yourself (because you can always give more). They become doormats and are the least succesful people.

But the most succesful people are also givers, because they care about others but also don't lose sight of their own interests. These people are not doormats, they're just willing to give more than they get.

In conclusion: be a giver. Give freely without expecting anything in return. However, never lose sight of your own interests. Don't become a doormat. Trust that by giving freely, people will be more inclined to help you.

Can't recommend the book enough.
 
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Andy Black

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A reply to @Brewmacker in one of his threads:

...

Also... something else I do when I’m overwhelmed from helping people is to ... go help more people.

It sounds counter intuitive, but I recently listened to “Give and Take” and it explained why.

A giver can get burnt out if they don’t see the impact their giving has on others. Do some extra giving so you can see the effect it has, and a giver can get recharged.
 
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Andy Black

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I really enjoyed this book, and it gave me some great insights that I'm applying in my own life. And guess what: it works!

There are three types of people: takers, matchers and givers.

Takers look at the world like a competition. It's eat or get eaten. These are the people that always ask 'What's in it for me?'. Takers mainly look out for themselves.

Matchers believe in fairness and live by 'quid pro quo'. If you give me something, I'll give you something back. If someone gives them something, they feel like they now owe that person something.

Givers believe that they can succeed by giving without expecting anything in return. They genuinely want to help others.

Concluding:
  • Takers try to get as much from other people as possible while contributing as little as they can.
  • Matchers' goal is 'fairness' - If I do something for you, you'll have to do something for me. You now owe me.
  • Givers enjoy helping others without expecting anything in return.

Think about this yourself: if someone helps you with something, you're generally inclined to give back to them (reciprocity). People that give without expecting anything in return often have great reputations. The opposite is true for takers. If they win, everybody else loses and they quickly build up a bad reputation.

Main takeaway for me was that there is a difference between types of givers. Some people give so much that they forget themselves and just want to please others. This often leads to overworking and never feeling good about yourself (because you can always give more). They become doormats and are the least succesful people.

But the most succesful people are also givers, because they care about others but also don't lose sight of their own interests. These people are not doormats, they're just willing to give more than they get.

In conclusion: be a giver. Give freely without expecting anything in return. However, never lose sight of your own interests. Don't become a doormat. Trust that by giving freely, people will be more inclined to help you.

Can't recommend the book enough.
This is a really good write up, much better than mine.

From listening to this book I realised what I already knew: I’m a natural giver. But it’s only upon hearing about the other types that it dawned on me that not everyone is a natural giver. This explains my constant confusion (exasperation?) in the forum over why people don’t see the world the same way I do.

I didn’t plan to receive by giving. I just have first because I love helping people, and then it started coming back to me.

The fact that not everyone does this explains why some people don’t (didn’t?) trust my motives when I give so freely.

From talking to lots of other givers I do see many are treated like doormats. I don’t believe I’m treated like a doormat and wondered what I do different for quite a while now. For instance, I post a lot here and have had thousands of PMs. Other people sometimes PM folks and can’t get out of the conversation. People don’t try to take from me though. Why is that? I don’t quite know but if I figure it out then I’ll update this thread.

As a freelancer we’ve a tendency to give too much at the beginning and to fall prey to the natural takers out there ( @Nicoknowsbest has written about this in his progress thread and may chime in with some of his thoughts).

I think that givers need to learn how to protect themselves and how to leverage their natural tendencies. When they do that then it’s like hitting a slipstream and they will be propelled forward effortlessly.
 

Creed

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From listening to this book I realised what I already knew: I’m a natural giver. But it’s only upon hearing about the other types that it dawned on me that not everyone is a natural giver. This explains my constant confusion (exasperation?) in the forum over why people don’t see the world the same way I do.

Most people are actually matchers. Which is why they doubt your motives when you give so freely: they wonder what you want in return. Remember that they think along quid pro quo lines, so they'll be suspicious of your motives or might not want your help because they don't feel like doing anything for you in return. But you being a giver, don't think like that.
 

Nicoknowsbest

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As a freelancer we’ve a tendency to give too much at the beginning and to fall prey to the natural takers out there ( @Nicoknowsbest has written about this in his progress thread and may chime in with some of his thoughts).

Amen to that! I thought the problem was me...

"You give too much."

"You are too soft."

"You are not made for business."

These are only a few things I heard. I started believing them, especially after what happened previously. Like it did for you Andy, this book confirmed what we were already doing (you at a different scale than me).

So what will I do differently going forward?
  • I'll try and spot takers right from day one and act accordingly
  • I'll make sure I minimize my downside when I give
  • I'll give even more, because f*ck the takers
Why let a few selfish people spoil the fun for the rest?
 

Primeperiwinkle

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Update: B&N failed me yet again but Abebooks had it and for free shipping so altogether I saved $4 which immediately went to buying another book.

Meanwhile... my new shiny smooth lovely copy of Straight-Line Leadership came in and I’m already happy about it cuz it started w/ a Bernard Shaw quote:

“Life isn’t about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.”

Sweet! Yay!
 

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Suzanne Bazemore

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Most people are actually matchers. Which is why they doubt your motives when you give so freely: they wonder what you want in return. Remember that they think along quid pro quo lines, so they'll be suspicious of your motives or might not want your help because they don't feel like doing anything for you in return. But you being a giver, don't think like that.
That is a good point. Another reason why people don't take from you, @Andy Black
 
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LittleWolfie

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I listened to this a few weeks ago. Lots of helpful stories and insights. A bit too much dry data for my liking, so it will be hard to listen to again. I’ll probably buy some cliff-notes or refer to this thread.

Here’s some of my takeaways (from memory). I’ll add more later.

There’s givers, matchers, and takers.

The least successful in an organisation are often givers because they spend so much time helping others that they neglect their own work.

The most successful in an organisation often aren’t matchers or takers, but are givers too. They’ve just figured out how to give better.

Feedback helps prevent giver burnout.

When a giver is nearing burnout they can give more and get motivation and energy.

People can be amiable or not. This is a different sliding scale from giver -> taker. A giver can be gruff, and a taker can be amiable. Be wary of amiable takers.

Selfless givers can burnout and not make much progress. Givers who protect themselves and leverage their natural tendencies can be very successful. (The author had a name for these that I didn’t understand... I’ll just call them smart givers.)


Anyone else read it? What were your takeaways?

Finished this last night.

I found there was far too little dry data for my tastes. Few data and directions on being otherish givers.

The most significant for me is that average people can identify givers, takers, fakers and the like from looks.

Since I have prognosia(face blindness). Apparently telling people I'm bad at recognising faces. (Which is the actual medical diagnosis) is a bad idea. Because it's a terrible faker excuse.

No one can suggest a better one. Prognosia shuts them down.

I'm really not ignoring you. I never recognised you.

It explains why I am totally unable to discern whom to give too best. It's probably why I'm susceptible to burn out . I need a letter rather than a picture.

I took his otherish givers to be people who gave in a different way. Being a top giver was about actions rather than brains.

Calling them 'smart' undermines it in my humble opinion.

Also intresting how certain disabilty symptoms can cause a faker perception. Even despite giving being a record.

So much is taken from non verbal cues that can be completely wrong when you add disabilty.
 
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Andy Black

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I found there was far too little dry data for my tastes.
Interesting. I found there was way too much dry data. I just wanted stories to make me go "aha", and then to figure out how to apply them myself.
 

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