Give and Take by Adam Grant: Part 1 Good returns

Give and Take by Adam Grant

Sometimes I come across a book that I need to read a few times.  Adam Grant’s Give and Take is the book for 2014.  The second time I read it I used the features of iBook to highlight the key points. Now I am working through the key points which have grabbed my attention and plan to write and reflect upon them in a series of blog posts.  Here is the starting post.

There are nine chapters :

  1. Good returns – the dangers and rewards  of giving more than your get
  2. The Peacock and the panda – how givers takers and matchers build networks
  3. The ripple effect – collaboration and the dynamics of giving and taking credit
  4. Finding the diamond in the rough – the fact and fiction of recognizing  potential
  5. The power of powerless communication – how to be modest and influence people
  6. The heart of motivation maintenance – why some givers burn out but others are on fire
  7. Chump change – overcoming the doormat effect
  8. The scrooge shift why a cocker team, a finger print and a name can tilt  us in the other direction
  9. Out of the shadows

Good returns


David Hornik – pitching to investors.  Good guys finish last or do they?

Takers – like to give more than they take. In order to succeed they feel they need to be better than others.

Giver – they prefer to give more than they take. They are other focused paying more attention to what other people want from them.

Matchers – strive to preserve an equal balance of giving and getting. They operate on the principle of fairness. When they help others  they protect themselves by seeking reciprocity or the exchange of favours.

Sampson story – ran for state legislature and missed out.  Then went into business, partner died and took the debt and business failed. Ran for state legislature again got in at 25 years old and at 40 years old ran for  national Senate against two Supreme Court justices and more privileged. He was ahead and then plummeted. Sampsons ‘main concern was not getting elected but stopping another candidate he felt  had questionable practices – bribery. He was plagued with pathological giving.  He lost and the man he was worried about got in and turned out to indicted for fraud.  He then went on to help the other candidate win.  To add to this Sampson could not bring himself to defend clients if he felt they were guilty. He then tried to get into the Senate two more times and finally made it – xxxxxxxxx was his name.

“Being a giver is not good for the 100 yard dash, but it is valuable in a marathon. “

Financial advisor and scap metal worker story – took the job that no one wanted because he was a scrap metal worker.  He had a shed of expensive cars and other assets.

Research example: takers want wealth, power, pleasure and winning and givers want helpfulness, responsibility, social justice and compassion.  Giving is risky when dealing with takers.


Give and you will receive.  Often we hear statements like these but at times it is hard to take a longer term perspective to see the benefits of giving.

All I know is that in life we , and I am no exception, feel happy when we give.

After I read this chapter I was hooked with the book.  I like to  learn by reading about the stories linked to research and apply the ideas to my work (teaching), life (life) and interests ( running) and there is plenty to apply.

There is always something related to running in what I read – not that I try to find it.

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