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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here's to "otherish" givers everywhere...
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...
Published 23 months ago by Lee Greenwood

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars in praise of givers
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...
Published 19 months ago by William Jordan


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars in praise of givers, 29 Aug. 2013
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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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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here's to "otherish" givers everywhere..., 12 April 2013
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that will force you to think and change habits, 7 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success (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. Specifically, there was a period in his life where for nine years he made only two projects because he refused to work with other people, in violation with the terms of contract which prohibited him to work independently. He ruled out any idea that someone else take credit for his work. The drafts of his most famous work he did within a couple of hours before the eyes of Edgar Kaufmann, after he stalled work for months, and then he charged triple the amount of the agreed. However, the same draft he turned into a house on the waterfall only when he reluctantly agreed to be helped by someone else.

Since this is a book full of indirect advices (except in the last chapter) to become the one that gives the author touches upon the human psychology, warning that those who coordinate and take are often hidden; they pretend to give, only to take or comply. Sincere and selfless giving takes a lot of practice.

There is also a trap of excessive concern for others' interests, and too small for our own, as the author in the chapter 'The Art of Motivation Maintenance' presents through the stories of people who have realized that by maintaining energy and caring about their own interests they can give others even more. According to the understanding of people who give, even the term success has a special meaning - while for those who take success means to achieve better results than others, those who match look to success in light of adapting personal achievement and fairness towards others, while persons who give will define success as a personal achievements that positively influence others.

In a sea of books about success "Give and Take" is certainly unique because it is not based on an already shabby premise of hard work and talent. For American business culture that the rest of the world last decades is following, such thinking is very important - to raise awareness among people that is possible to get to the top without destroying the others and increasing the pie to everyone's benefit.

By reading Grant's book reader will find themselves in its examples and then get the motivation to work on themselves. Do not feel guilty if you find yourself among the 'less good' group because due to the series of causal reasons we often quite unconsciously assume the attitude of those who take or match.

"Give and Take" greatest quality is that it will definitely make you think and to change certain of your habits, and amazing is the fact that these reflections were made by professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who was just 31 years old when he wrote them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing perspective reciprocity style, 31 Aug. 2013
Adam Grant is the new darling of the business literature and despite appearances his book should be placed at a safe distance from the personal development aisle. Indeed, the book is an academic study that addresses the impact of the style of reciprocity that we adopt in professional life. In this case, he defends,against the tide, a thesis , defining, classifying and demonstrating that an appropriate form of altruism is a key to success. By dint of examples, case studies, it leads the reader into the lives of individuals with fascinating stories. In terms of style, the writing is academic in a lighter version embellished with copious references. From a personal standpoint, I enjoyed the book I found refreshing and nuanced, I think I have incorporated some of his teachings and that is why I recommend it. Happy reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 25 Jun. 2013
By 
Chintha Dissanayake (Oxford Psychometrics, Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a really good book, one of the best I've read in years, that conveys its message in a compelling way, with plenty of research to support it. I have bought it as gifts for others too! A highly recommended read for all, especially for the GIVERS of this world - who might at time question their stance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 25 Aug. 2014
By 
Psychologist (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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A fun to read book full of interesting and thought provoking information. One of the best books I've read to try to understand my own behaviour and that of others around me. Full of case examples and anecdotes so that the facts feel like common sense, rather than being dry and unpalatable.

I started by wondering how I could be so strongly motivated to be a giver whilst also not wanting to be exploited (and having the desire for status and influence to achieve aims that benefit others), but by the end of the book I learnt the answer :) I genuinely feel like it's given me new perspective on the way I do things.

So I highly recommend you read it!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful ideas in Development, 5 May 2014
This review is from: Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success (Paperback)
Give and Take is based on research into people's reciprocity styles and how they affect their success. According to the theory, there are three types of people: Some people (the “Takers”) always ensure they get more out of their interactions with others than they themselves give. The second group of people (“Matchers”) try to give exactly as much as they receive from others, while the third group (“Givers”) always give more than they receive.
“Give and Take” is basically a collection of arguments based on anecdotal evidence and scientific studies showing that, contrary to popular belief, givers, and not takers, are among the great achievers of our (modern) times. Adam Grant also explains that a subgroup of givers end up low on the success scale, and illuminates how givers avoid being exploited for their generosity.

What I liked about the book:
I was very excited about the book, seeing that I have a great interest in Positive Psychology and its applications. Accordingly, the book also had an impact on me. It inspired me to re-evaluate all my social interactions with people and to change some of my habits to hopefully more conscious and better ones, which is what a self-help book is all about.

What I did not like about the book:
In spite of its inspiring content, it was difficult to read. Its style is abstract with too many studies and lengthy stories but too little direct application for the reader, like the studies haven't yet been translated into viable strategies. Thus, I had to push myself to finish it. I think it could have been edited to a much shorter but more powerful version.
I also missed information or studies on the question as to how much we can actually change our reciprocity styles, seeing that they partly result from our childhood situation, mainly the number of siblings we grew up.

I give the book only three stars, but shining ones, mainly for it being a first antidote to old, aggressive ideas of gaining power and success, such as being promoted in the “48 Laws of Power”. I believe the book contributes to help elevate human consciousness and to promote a better way of living and working together.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Giving is not a sign of weakness...., 25 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success (Paperback)
This book was recommended by someone I met who shared similar interests and values. I have been enthralled by the book - it has stopped and made me think. I have dipped into the book and then read good chunks. A book to make you think about what is going on in our world and what could and perhaps should be going on in your world. It is one of the rare books that I will be reading with a notepad at hand - it has been already marked up in places. In a world that is still shark eat shark it ensures that there is space for those who wish to give too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely important book, 26 Sept. 2013
By 
A. Simon Grant "portfolio values innovator" (High Peak, England) - See all my reviews
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This book is not only well written; not only does it talk to people in an easily accessible voice without talking down, but also it is really important because it addresses one of the issues that is necessary to transform our society into a better form.

The author is currently considering revising the (sub-)title, because it is not about "success" in the nasty, grasping way, but about success in life more broadly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Give this your time and attention, 4 Jun. 2014
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Adam has a great way of synthesizing some commonly found behaviours into 3 1/2 styles. I say 1/2 because for Givers there are unproductive and self depreciating aspects of behaviours that mean Givers are considered door mats, and their qualities get obscured. The other styles Takers and Matchers likewise get some critical thinking about the short and long term impact this has upon the individuals, their network, career and the social climate and culture they create. There is also a view on the performance and value each style achieves for the individual and others. Adam looks at the Up and downside of each style using references to research to underpin his work. Adam also explores motivation resilience and meaningful outcomes are interlinked. There is too much to cover in the book for this review to mention. I normally rate a book on how much instant wisdom I can find by randomly opening a page and this book has it in spades. Why only 4 stars? There is a section in which Adam explores coaches, decision making, performance using a case study from professional basket ball which as a reader who is unfamiliar with the system left me distracted from the points being made. Fortunately this is mitigated by some good summaries, there are a few other instances like this in the book. I would say this book would add value to almost anyone, however if you are a manager, leader, have career aspirations or you are an educator this book really should be in your library. Not only is it a good read, Adam also presents you with a list of actionable content, links and references so you can take action or dig around in the references for more information. Also visit the website where there is more information including a self assessment inventory, do this before you read the book to avoid any bias. If you have a linkedin profile connect up with Adam to see other posts and content.
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Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success
Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant (Paperback - 9 Jan. 2014)
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