Book of the Month: Give and Take

GiveandTake

Give and Take by Adam Grant

This is an extraordinarily visionary book that for the first time provides the thoroughly researched and well-vetted business case for success through service. The fundamental premise of the book is that people fall into three general categories, namely: Givers, Matchers and Takers. Givers are exactly what they sound like…people that give selflessly of their time and resources to help others and are consistently looking for ways to be of service to others regardless of what comes back to them in return. Matchers look to “trade” acts of service like referrals with others and will only continue in the giving or sharing if the other person reciprocates. Most people in the world fall into this category at one level or another. The last group, Takers, are described as people who look out just for themselves and try to maximize their personal gain at the expense of everyone around them.

The most interesting thing about this book to me is that it describes how Givers are at both the very top and the very bottom of the monetary success scale, which is a very interesting phenomenon and begs the question: “why?”. The answer, while somewhat intuitive, is quite profound and solves this dilemma using real case studies and 20 years of research. The basic conclusion is that strategic givers that look for maximum impact opportunities with their service and are very intentional about it are the top of the success ladder, and the bleeding hearts that can never say no to a request end up wasting their opportunity for real impact by being pulled in every different direction without purpose, intentionality or focus on impact.

All in all, it is a very good book and has helped me to put a verbal framework around the business model that Keyser was built upon that for me was just intuitive. This book is a must read for anyone looking to create or transform a business through selfless service.

Upwards and Onwards.