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Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success Audible – Unabridged

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Editorial Reviews

An innovative, groundbreaking book that will captivate listeners of Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink, The Power of Habit, and Quiet

For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But today, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. It turns out that at work, most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.

Using his own pioneering research as Wharton's youngest tenured professor, Grant shows that these styles have a surprising impact on success. Although some givers get exploited and burn out, the rest achieve extraordinary results across a wide range of industries. Combining cutting-edge evidence with captivating stories, this landmark book shows how one of America's best networkers developed his connections, why the creative genius behind one of the most popular shows in television history toiled for years in anonymity, how a basketball executive responsible for multiple draft busts transformed his franchise into a winner, and how we could have anticipated Enron's demise four years before the company collapsed - without ever looking at a single number.

Praised by best-selling authors such as Dan Pink, Tony Hsieh, Dan Ariely, Susan Cain, Dan Gilbert, Gretchen Rubin, Bob Sutton, David Allen, Robert Cialdini, and Seth Godin - as well as senior leaders from Google, McKinsey, Merck, Estée Lauder, Nike, and NASA - Give and Take highlights what effective networking, collaboration, influence, negotiation, and leadership skills have in common. This landmark book opens up an approach to success that has the power to transform not just individuals and groups, but entire organizations and communities.

©2013 Adam M. Grant Ph.D. (P)2013 Penguin Audio

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

274 of 286 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Currie-Knight VINE VOICE on April 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've been reading this book for a few days now - finished it yesterday - and I am already finding myself changing a bit of how I operate. According to the book, I am usually a matcher - one who gives reciprocally, when I figure I can receive in return. And there isn't much wrong with that. But, according to Adam Grant and his bevy of research, otherish givers are usually the most successful.

So, let me explain.

There are three broad styles of interpersonal dealing: taking, matching, and giving. Takers are those who try to take more than they give. Matchers are those who try to give and take proportaionally and conditionally. Givers are those who give more than they take. Takers are primarily self-oriented, matchers are other-oriented as a means to being self-oriented (I'll help you when I think you will help me) and givers are primarily other-oriented.

Here's the counter-intuitive part. If we look at the most successful people - the happiest, the most likely to be promoted, etc - they are generally givers, and if we look at the least successful, they too often tend to be givers. (Takers do moderately well, but over time, few want to deal with them. Matchers do okay too.)

This book is an attempt to explain why being a giver is a good 'strategy' for success, as well as under what conditions giving is a failing 'strategy.' First, the positive: simply put, people appreciate givers and giving often makes people want to give back. Since givers help others and often put others' needs as a priority, givers often garner (without deliberately trying - AND THAT IS KEY!) a network of support from others they've helped. Want to communicate most effectively? Ask more questions to others than you give answers, ask for advice, and be aware of how you can help others.
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140 of 161 people found the following review helpful By Adam Rifkin on April 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, a disclosure: I'm one of the people whose stories are featured in Adam Grant's book.

I don't read a lot of books, but I'm glad I read "Give and Take".

I agree with the reviewer who says the book is worth reading for the first and last chapters alone.

The first chapter explains why people who give are more successful in business.

The last chapter ("Actions for Impact") is a short, useful list of practical tools to apply the book's principles in life.

The rest of the book is filled with good stories, too, but those are a bonus.

I think overall this is an important book. If more business leaders succeed through principled giving of time, energy, connections, and knowledge, the world will be a better place.

I want to live in a world where more people have this kind of success.
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151 of 175 people found the following review helpful By Bradley Bevers VINE VOICE on March 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have been looking forward to this book because I have heard so many positive things about it leading up to its release. It is a very well written book, and I am looking forward to reading more from Adam Grant in the future (a business professor who is a professional magician too . . . only good things can come from that combination). As talented as Grant is, and you can tell just from reading it how much work he poured into the book, I felt that it fell short in ways that other recent books have succeeded.

The basic premise of the book is that "Givers" are more successful in the long run, for a variety of reasons. This is especially true now in the United States because so many people, up to 80%, work in a service industry. Giving pays huge dividends, and Grant proves his theory with anecdotal evidence backed up by research studies.

What I Liked:

* The first chapter was very good. The argument that givers are more successful across a wide variety of fields is made succinctly, and the evidence is hard to argue with.
* Love all the practical tools in the last chapter.
* Stories chosen throughout the book are all new to me - no rehashing from other business books, which is a plus.

What I Didn't Like:

* Though the stories are different, I was not compelled by most of them. They were interesting, but the connection to the chapter material lacked in some places.
* The first and last chapter were great, but I would rate the middle as mediocre. Every chapter felt like it was just too long, like the publisher had a quota to fill and just stretched the material as far as it would go to get up to 300 pages.
* While I agree with the premise, I'm not sure I would be convinced if I hadn't already been on his side before reading the book.
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Format: Hardcover
In reading reviews of this book, ask yourself whether it is the book being reviewed, or is it the premise (concept) of the book. I re-read the reviews that enticed me into reading this book and found that, under a critical reading, they seemed to be predominantly the latter. And when you encounter a review that lauds the book as "new", "revolutionary"... while also contrarily reporting its content as "well-known", "proven" or an established part of the reviewer's professional life, be skeptical.*

My background: I am in my 60s and I now read this category of book not for myself, but to assist in my mentoring of others. I spent my career in high tech, 30 years in Silicon Valley.

At the core of my negative reaction to this book is a difference in world view. The book claims that "givers are a rare breed of people" (inside of jacket). My experience is that they are hardly rare**, and there are daily reminders of that -- for example the response to the recent Boston Marathon bombing. What you see are many people who are _reflexively_ givers (no pause for calculation). Note: I am not denying the existence of "takers" and "matchers", but take issue with the book's estimates of their numbers as being too high.

The book's subtitle "A Revolutionary Approach to Success" reveals how divorced from reality it is. The characteristics of the "giver" have long been taught in a wide range of leadership courses -- the only thing new here is the name. The "Servant Model" of Christianity (and other religions) is often invoked in these leadership courses, including some by the US military.

The book even argues against itself: It opens with a study claiming that "givers" dominate the group of most successful people and later argues that this is not invisible.
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