Customer Review

148 of 171 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 Star Book . . . Give Or Take A Star . . ., March 31, 2013
This review is from: Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success (Hardcover)
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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. Did not read like a persuasive book.

I wish the author would have interspersed more practical application throughout the book. A book in a similar vein, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, offers practical sections at the end of each chapter. Pink also argues for a new approach to business based on our service economy and, while he doesn't define them as givers, they come to many similar conclusions. Because I just read Pink's book and because of all the practical application, I will be recommending it over Give & Take should anyone ask. Would be hard to recommend reading both - as good as Grant's book is, there are others available that are more suitable for a wider audience.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 3, 2014 12:47:01 PM PST
Thank you for the very interesting feedback on this book. Your review actually makes me want to read both this book and Dan Pink's book on selling. I have written a implemented programs over the last 20 years on business networking and I differentiate people as "Givers," "Takers" or "Exchangers." I would say that rather than focus on matching, I see seven levels of support that you can exchange with others that can start with emotional support, move up through information to knowledge support and on up through promotional and wisdom support. I have found when people are more "explicit" around connecting and networking than "implicit" and look for ways to support one another through an exchange, both parties win.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2014 1:42:11 PM PST
Thanks for the feedback Melissa. Hope you end up getting both. They are both worth reading, and Pink's book is one that I keep going back to a year after reading it . . .

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2014 1:49:29 PM PST
Just did purchase it. And I also did buy Dan Pink's book. Thanks for the suggestion. To me you can learn enough about how to develop great relationships in business.
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