Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success – Adam Grant Book Summary

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success – Adam Grant | Free Book Summary

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success – Adam Grant

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success is a book written by Adam Grant, an award-winning researcher and Wharton’s highest-rated professor. The book examines the forces that shape why some people rise to the top of the success ladder while others sink to the bottom.

 It provides insight into how adopting a giving mindset can lead to success, both in business and in life. It also provides practical advice on how to foster a giving culture in the workplace, and how to recognize and reward givers.

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Givers, Matchers, Takers

There are three main types of interaction, three different reciprocity styles: Takers, Givers, and Matchers.

  • Takers believe the world is a competitive, dog-eat-dog place. They believe in succeeding by being better than others.
  • Givers believe the world is a friendly place. They believe in succeeding by helping others and creating win-win situations.
  • Matchers operate on the principle of fairness. When they help others, they protect themselves by seeking reciprocity.

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Your reciprocity style defines whether you’ll land at the top or the bottom of the success ladder

People who are generous, who give more than they get, and who genuinely try to help others are more likely to have higher grades, be more productive, sell more, earn more money etc…

“Across occupations, if you examine the link between reciprocity styles and success, the givers are more likely to become champs…”

Out of the three reciprocity styles it’s the givers who succeed the most.

Why do givers succeed?

One big reason is because they build better reputations, more and stronger relationships, and far bigger networks than matchers or takers. Reputation, relationships, and the right network will enhance anyone’s success in life.

Givers build more relationships and thus a bigger network because they’ve got a great reputation. Takers build fewer relationships and smaller networks because they sacrifice their reputation by acting selfish and not caring about the interests of others.

Givers succeed partly because most people are matchers who value reciprocity and fairness. The matchers grant a bonus to givers while punishing takers. When you’re a giver, the whole world is rooting for you and supporting you.

The future favors the Givers

Giving will become increasingly important in the future due to several reasons.

  • Firstly, reputation can be acquired more quickly in today’s connected world, where relationships and reputations are more visible.
  • Secondly, as teamwork becomes more common, givers gain an advantage over matchers and takers by demonstrating their value, building trust, and improving their reputation. Thirdly, the service sector is growing, and customers prefer service providers who focus on contributing value rather than claiming it.

The service sector is growing. Teamwork becomes the norm. And reputations get acquired much more quickly. These are all reasons why giving will become an even more important factor of success in the future.

How giving helps you build a bigger network

Givers enjoy helping others without wanting anything in return. This helps them “activate” lots and lots of relationships and create a huge network of people who theoretically “owe them a favor”.

As opposed to matchers and takers, they don’t limit themselves to only creating relationships with people who can give them something in return immediately.

“Your network is your net worth.”

How giving helps you excel in group work

Givers excel in group work. They make everyone (including themselves) better off by making the group better off.

They put the group’s interests ahead of their own by taking on tasks that others won’t, helping team members, and putting in a lot of effort.

How giving makes you a better salesperson

Giving helps you become a better salesperson. Being genuinely interested in your customer’s needs helps you build trust and goodwill.

Which in turn helps you sell your product or service in a win-win kind of fashion.

Selfless vs. otherish giving: why some givers end at the bottom of the success ladder

There are two types of givers: selfless and otherish.

  1. Selfless givers prioritize other people’s needs over their own, which can lead to being taken advantage of and neglecting their own interests.
  2. Otherish givers balance their high other-interest with high self-interest, allowing them to give more than they receive without being taken advantage of. Successful giving involves finding a win-win balance between what’s best for others and what’s best for yourself.

Ultimately, otherish givers are the most successful because they genuinely care about others while also keeping their own interests in mind.

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