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Book Summary - Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant

Key Insights

In Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, Adam Grant invites readers to explore what it really means to give and take. While traditional teaching tells us we must take what it is we need, Grant uncovers the many reasons why it is actually the givers who win in the end. 

And oftentimes, the givers carry others with them on the road to success.

Givers and Takers

Givers--they give far more than they get

Takers--they take far more than they give

To takers, the world is a battleground. Life is an unforgiving game and you need to take as much as you can. You only help others if the benefit is far greater than the cost. For example, Michael Jordan’s personal philosophy is “To be successful, you have to be selfish.” He is known for speaking out against...

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At the end of the day, we must decide: are we going to be givers or takers? Is it possible to be a combination thereof? According to Adam Grant, author of Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, the way we answer this question is critical to our professional success. Givers and takers are opposites, and thus, we must be one or the other--we cannot be both at any given time. In a rapidly evolving world, it is important to consider the role you play. Are you a giver who pulls others up as you climb the ladder to success or are you a taker who steps on the heads of those at the bottom? It is time to make a conscious choice.

About the Author

Adam Grant was born in 1981 in West Bloomfield, Michigan. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a Ph.D in organizational psychology, Grant began his teaching career with a professorship at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill in 2007.

In 2009, Grant left UNC for the Wharton School of the University Pennsylvania. Grant became the university’s youngest tenured professor when he began teaching there at age 28.

Throughout his prestigious career, Grant authored several books in addition to Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success. His other titles include Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World and also Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy which he c0-wrote with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

While he was at the University of Michigan, Grant worked as a professional magician.

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