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Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success Paperback – 9 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (9 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780224729
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780224725
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Give and Take is perfectly timed and beautifully weighted...Above all, Grant's book is optimistic, a refreshing change after years of reading angry indictments of fallen corporate idols...(an) excellent book. (Andrew Hill FINANCIAL TIMES)

Backed up by anecdotes of success across a range of industries and scenarios, as well as numerous academic studies, the arguments of Give and Take are grounded in ample research...His writing style draws you in...it's an interesting take on game theory in a practical context, and the notion that givers can succeed is an inspirational one. (CITY AM) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Why givers - not takers or matchers - win big. Perfect for anyone who enjoyed QUIET or THINKING FAST AND SLOW.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Lee Greenwood on 12 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found about this new and exciting book via Dan Pinks blog, and immediately felt compelled to buy it. I am incredibly glad that I did, as the discovery couldn't have come at a better time for me.

I've battled for years with being a "selfless" giver in the software development field, and often experienced credit being stolen, burnout at numerous times, and a feeling of being taken advantage of. I've tried assertiveness and confidence tactics, but they just aren't the real me. I'd reached the point of being resigned to never giving my very best and holding back, for fear that others would take credit for my effort and ideas.

Then I read this book.

As I devoured each chapter, I felt I gained new insights into many areas of life - How I can give more at work without getting walked all over; how I can be a better husband and father; how I can use my knowledge to help others in a way that meets both our needs.

Through the fantastic prose and engaging stories I've come to understand that I can be a true giver in every dimension of life, and not suffer the same fate I have previously. I've gained a new sense of optimism about who I am, and what I can accomplish in life - I finally feel ready to share what I consider my life's work.

I hesitate to use the phrase "this book changed my life" as it is evangelistic and slightly over-used. However this is one of less than a dozen books that I confidently and happily say really has changed my life.

Thanks Adam.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Denis Vukosav on 7 Feb 2014
Format: Paperback
"Give and Take" written by Adam Grant was declared one of the must-read books in the 2013 chosen by Amazon, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal; Fortune had declared it as mandatory to business book, while The Washington Post wrote that every leader should read it. And when you’ll read it you will understand why.

The author gave himself the goal with this book to redefine the stereotypical thinking that 'givers' are just weak and naive. He clarifies that in the first chapter; they are not, just the opposite, most successful ones are ‘those who give’.
He presents an interesting and unique classification that is characteristic for the business world; he divides people into those who take, match or give. Those who take are people who are trying to profit from someone else's account, those who want ti match are aligning accounts, while those who give (the rarest type) are contributors, not expecting anything in return. Since we spend most of our daily life at work, what we do at work is becoming a fundamental part of who we are.

Out of a total ten chapters, the first and last chapter are the two most important and the best ones. In the rest of the book the author presented case studies based on historical and real-life examples, but often leaves the impression that due to their length the narrative thread that leads to conclusion is sometimes lost.

Case studies are unknown and very interesting. For example, in the chapter 'The Ripple Effect’ Grant speaks about cooperation and dynamics of merit recognition, taking the example of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright in a new light.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William Jordan on 29 Aug 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Adam Grant divides workers into givers, takers and matchers - and his research suggests that givers are in some cases the most effective workers and in other cases the least effective.

The book is full of stories of successful givers and tips on how to become a successful giver: look to sort out other people's problems and it will pay off (sometimes serendipitously), you will be better at HR decisions (you're not so determined to be right; you want what's best for other people and the organisation), you can be good at influencing (don't do this through a power play but through modesty - stammering can be helpful), and you can keep from burn-out through making sure you see the direct results of your giving and through 'chunking' it so it happens in big bursts and not through a drip feed of good actions. As to why some givers end up at the bottom of the heap, that's because they are 'selfless' rather than 'otherish' givers - that's to say, they don't set any boundaries and aren't good at asking for help for themselves. It's amazing just what people will do to help you - or others - if you ask them. And they'll be likely to go on helping once they start...

So far so good - and I certainly enjoyed reading this - it's persuasive and surprising.

If I felt less than 100% convinced, though, that's partly because Grant has so little to say about 'takers' (and yet he acknowledges they sometimes make the world go round - Michael Jordan is one example he quotes) - and on this, there are other books (Maccoby's book on narcissistic leaders, which points to the highs and lows of the taker in working life). It's also because he doesn't really go into what makes people 'takers' or 'givers' in the first place - is it a given or does it depend on what you learn in your family as you grow up about 'how we behave round here and what gets us what we want in this environment'?...Perhaps there will be a sequel..
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