Give and Take Book Summary - Give and Take Book explained in key points
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Give and Take summary

Adam Grant

A Revolutionary Approach to Success

4.4 (360 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

Give and Take by Adam Grant explores how being a giver, rather than a taker or matcher, can lead to success in personal and professional relationships. Using a range of examples, Grant provides insights and practical advice to help readers become more effective givers.

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    Give and Take
    Summary of 11 key ideas

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    Takers are self-centered, and focused only on what benefits they can get from others.

    We all know people who seem to care only about themselves, completely disregarding the needs of others. These people are takers.Everywhere they go, it seems their primary concern is hogging as much money, status and admiration as possible.

    Typically, takers promote themselves eagerly, favoring words like “I” and “mine” rather than “we” and “ours”. They also tend to be domineering, using forceful language to persuade others, while unabashedly flattering powerful people to get ahead.

    So why are they so selfish?

    They simply see the world as a competitive place. To a taker, life is a ruthless game where you take everything you want, helping others only if the personal benefit of doing so outweighs the cost.

    A prime example of a taker is Kenneth Lay, former CEO of the energy giant Enron. Along with taking out colossal loans from the company, Lay sold off $70 million in stocks in a well-timed effort to take care of himself before the company went bankrupt, leaving 20,000 people unemployed.

    But the average taker is not necessarily evil or corrupt. A less caustic example is legendary basketball player Michael Jordan. As a player, Jordan spoke out in favor of increasing the share of team revenues given to players, only to argue for the opposite when he became an owner. His philosophy: “To be successful, you have to be selfish.”

    Although their underlying motives may differ, all takers hold the same worldview: they believe that there is a limited amount of “pie” for everyone and it is up to them to take the biggest slice for themselves.

    Takers are self-centered, and focused only on what benefits they can get from others.

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    What is Give and Take about?

    Give and Take offers a breath of fresh air to traditional theories of what it takes to be successful. Backed by ground-breaking research, Give and Take demonstrates how giving more to others, rather than competing against them, may be the secret to profound success and fulfillment.

    Give and Take Review

    Give and Take (2013) is a thought-provoking book that explores the power of giving and taking in professional and personal relationships. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • It presents a compelling case with research-backed evidence and real-life examples, showing how a giving mindset can lead to success and fulfillment.
    • The book offers practical tips and strategies on how to become a more effective giver and navigate different reciprocity styles.
    • With its engaging storytelling and insightful analysis, it challenges conventional wisdom and keeps readers engaged throughout the book.

    Who should read Give and Take?

    • Anyone who wants to understand how those who give become so successful
    • Anyone who wants to learn how to influence others without being domineering
    • Anyone who suffers from burnout by giving too much to others

    About the Author

    Adam Grant is an award-winning organizational psychologist and a professor at Wharton Business School. He has over 60 journal publications and has presented for many prestigious organizations, such as Google, Facebook and the United Nations.

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    Give and Take FAQs 

    What is the main message of Give and Take?

    The main message of Give and Take is the power of helping others and creating a culture of generosity.

    How long does it take to read Give and Take?

    The reading time for Give and Take varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Give and Take a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Give and Take is a valuable read, offering insights on the benefits of giving and how it can lead to success and fulfillment.

    Who is the author of Give and Take?

    Adam Grant is the author of Give and Take.

    What to read after Give and Take?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Give and Take, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Originals by Adam Grant
    • 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman
    • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
    • Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
    • Leadership Is Language by David Marquet
    • Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky
    • Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet
    • Hidden Potential by Adam Grant
    • Start With Why by Simon Sinek
    • Learning Leadership by James Kouzes and Barry Posner