Basic CMYK


I am currently reading a book called Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success.  I am only a couple of chapters in, but the premise being explored is fascinating…and even before knowing how it unfolds, I want to introduce you to this fascinating work.

The author, Adam Grant, describes three types of people:  givers, takers and matchers.  Givers tend to be focused on others more than their own needs; takers like to get more than they give; and matchers give and take based upon the principle of fair exchange.   The research correlating these social styles with success finds that the most AND the least successful people are givers.  What I have not yet learned is what differentiates the successful givers from those that find themselves at the bottom of the success ladder.  This will be revealed as I continue reading.

I am reminded of my posting on September 17 last year asking What Kind of  Leader Do You Want To Be?  The leadership styles discussed in that posting, based upon the work of Pastor Bill Hybels from the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, are two — legacy leaders who are much like givers, and hirelings who are much like takers.

What I like about Grant’s framework is that it is less black and white and underscores that the same seemingly positive orientation toward giving can have a positive or negative affect on ones success.  Being purely selfless alone does not for success make.  There is some other ingredient that makes it all work.  In addition, he isolates a third style, matchers, which according to his research describes most people.  Relatively fewer of us are singularly focused on others or self…but rather, more of us operate from a place of fairness and equity.

I posed the question last year regarding what kind of leader do you want to be?  This year I expand the question to ask what kind of person do you want to be?  And the answer should be easy!  A giver…because it is apparently good for you AND others.  What a win/win proposition!

Please check out the book and share your thoughts.  I promise to do the same.