Sep 04

Book Review: Give and Take

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to SuccessGive and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam M. Grant

A lot of books like this aren’t nearly as groundbreaking as they claim to be, but this one definitely changed the way I think about the world.

The authors divide the world into three types of people, givers, takers, and matchers. Not surprisingly, givers are the chumps, those people who mentor and donate and always help others at personal cost. Matchers who give and take equally, do better. Takers, the kind of people who say that it’s dog-eat-dog out there and that’s why they’re justified in screwing over everyone dumb enough to get screwed over, tend to do okay too. But here’s the weird part, the people who do even better than that are also givers.

That last fact is what got me hooked. I had to find out if there was a way in which I could still be generous and not come to regret it again and again and again. In a way, this is like a novel, because the authors tell stories in which selfish jerks lose out and the generous trusting sorts have their good works repaid. In that regard, it’s very satisfying.

The book also has some other information which is tangental but fascinating, such as how to keep from getting burned out if you are in a job (such as teaching) which requires you to give and give and give. Also, it says how to motivate charitably minded people vs. how to motivate people who are more self-centered.

This book has some useful tips, and I will be thinking about it and talking about it for quite a while. It was also well written and engaging enough that I found it a pleasure to read.

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