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  • Adam Grant

'Give And Take'

Give an take is a refreshing book that destroys old platitudes. It improves our understanding of why we succeed and in the process, Adam offers us a guide that helps us understand behaviours and what goes into the real winning ways !!!. It breaks down lives of real time people to understand their successful behavioural patterns. This helps us emerges with life changing insights and narratives. Evidences of such scripts have been taken from Hollywood to American politics to labour the point that these are universal norms and that they have uniform application in all walks of life!

Social Scientists have now discovered that people differ dramatically in their orientation and thus their desired reciprocal preference to 'give and take'.

Takers have a distinct signature that they like to get from all transactions, events and relationships more than what they can give.They believe that the world is a dog-eat-dog competitive space and they have to emerge winners !

Givers are opposites. Rare of course. They tilt reciprocity in the other direction, preferring to give more than they get. Givers focus more on the needs of the others than their own needs even if it is at their own cost.

However, in work places, reciprocity being the norm, one can't be a pure giver or a pure taker. You thus end up becoming a 'Matcher' who nets it out and balances the equation. No free lunches !!!

Thus Giving, Taking and Matching become the three fundamental styles of social interaction albeit an imaginary line differentiates the partition between them.

However this should not be mistaken or stereotyped and power of the Giver should not to be underestimated. Givers are not altruistic or be so mistaken as. They are winners but with a different strategy and orientation. Their math shows that their cost of giving is much less than the benefits they receive from such investment and thus it is about a different calculation. If losing a short race leads to winning the longer Meraton, the giver is actually a winner. The taker is stupidly myopic.

Now comes the fourth category....the Faker. He pretends to be someone different than actually who he is to win the transaction and get what he wants. But this cannot last long. A Faker falls by the wayside.

Our orientation on the above four parameters covers everything in life ...wealth, material possession, pleasure, winning v/s losing, helpfulness, responsibility, social justice, compassion and even care.

The first part of the book unveils the principles of 'Giver Success', illuminating how and why do givers get to the top. Adam discusses their unique approaches to interactions in four key areas as they network, collaborate, evaluate and influence.

The second part of the book shifts focus from 'benefits' of Giving to 'costs' of Giving and how these could be managed.

By the time you finish reading this 300 page book, you will begin reconsidering some of your fundamental assumptions and orientations that lead to success. For all you know, you may even find your much sought after answer to your may just need to internalise and imbibe a new 'Giver' script !

Interesting and a fresh perspective to behaviours and strategies for success not only for professions but in life.

I would rate it as 4/5.

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