Give and Take

Adam Grant

Give and Take



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Western society seems to reward those who manage to get their hands on as much as they can: you always see individuals in the spotlight who, all on their own, have achieved amazing goals. Yet, thanks in part to social networks and the growing attention paid to certain global issues, the real prestige is now going to the people who bend over backwards for each other. For those who want to achieve more meaningful and enduring success, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success provides some invaluable insights.

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Analysis and key concepts


Success requires 4 ingredients: the least known is the way we form relationships with others


Being knowledgeable is beneficial to everyone, but the connections created by “givers” last longer than those which “takers” exploit for their own advantage


Strong ties form friendships, but weak ties are key components to establishing professional connections


For creatives, the secret is to have the right friends, who give them the freedom to express themselves


Interacting with others without arrogance will allow you to really influence others


Being selfless also means potentially saying "no" so as to protect your success


Altruists are afraid to be recognised, yet their results are best for society as a whole




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Truly understand the importance of being generous.
  • Learn that the best rewards are those that you least expect.
  • Find out how to say "no" when necessary.

Adam Grant is an American psychologist and author, who has been a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania since the young age of 28. As an organisational psychologist, he is one of the leading experts on how to find motivation and meaning, in order to lead a more generous and creative life. He has been recognised by Fortune as one of the 10 most influential “managerial thinkers” in the world under 40. He is the author of 5 New York Times bestsellers, which have been translated into 35 languages. Adam Grant is also the host of WorkLife, an original TED podcast that tops the charts. His TED talks have been viewed more than 25 million times, and he has more than 3 million followers on social media. Furthermore, he regularly offers new insights in his free monthly newsletter, Granted.

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