Book Notes: Give and Take by Adam Grant

Why Give and Take?

Book Notes and Review of Adam Grant's Give and TakeI first heard of Adam Grant while editing Lewis Howes’s podcast, the School of Greatness. I was really impressed with the idea that people who give are either the ones on top of the world or they end up on the bottom. To me, it was imperative to understand exactly what separates the ones on the top from the ones on the bottom…. but I took no action on it at first. The next time I heard of Adam Grant was on Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields (not released at the date of publishing.) This time, Jonathan went really deep with Adam and the breadth of his knowledge really intrigued me. I went out and got the book on audible right after listening to the show. These notes are not conclusive. While listening to this book, I was wrapped up in massive emotional turmoil due to a peak performance leadership conference I was attending in Los Angeles. I do think I’ll return to it, but for now, I’ll just share the notes I did get as well as how I responded to it all.

Reading Notes for Give and Take

Reciprocity styles: Givers, Matchers and Takers Givers dominate the top and the bottom of the success curve. Givers are more likely to be champs or chumps Expedition Behavior – putting the goals of the team ahead of those of the individual. Givers are less likely to be caught in sunk cost traps. Inman, the talent scout made a mistake in missing out on Michael Jordan in exchange for drafting someone a little less valuable. But he recovered from the mistake and was a leader in drafting players. Inman was a giver. Michael Jordan on the other hand shows sings of being a taker (pay players more as a player, pay owners more as an owner, leaves out thanks in his hall of fame speech in exchange for belittling those who didn’t believe in him.) As the owner of the Wizards, Jordan went all in on a player who turned out to average 7 points per game in his career. He oversaw the Wizards at a time when thy had the smallest winning percentage in NBA history. Because Jordan was a taker, he was more susceptible to sunk cost errors because of the nature that takers are unwilling to be wrong. When attempting to gain dominance of a situation, takers are more powerful due to asserting anger, large motions and getting louder…. But are they more effective leaders? Dominance is a zero sum game Prestige is not a zero sum game Prestige therefore has more lasting value. Powerless communication is worse at asserting leadership and confidence. Powerless communication is the most powerful sales strategy in the studies Advice seeking can be a powerful way to assert influence in a situation. Giver seek the most effective advice because they genuinely seek the learning from others. Advice seeking is a way to open yourself up to the possibilities of the universe. Benjamin Franklin was an expert at this. important note: it only works when it’s sincere and genuine.

My overall take away from Give and Take

I loved this book. My notes left out a pair of important parts of the book. The example of the editor of the Simpsons and the silicone valley connector that helps so many people. Though I can’t recall the names of these characters, I know that they where integral parts in creating many amazing things because they allowed themselves to give and receive without an immediate expectation for reciprocity. This is how I live my life now. I’m constantly on the lookout for how I can give to people. This just came to me though, what does separate the givers on the top from the givers on the bottom. Funny enough, after going through the whole book and I can’t recall this. I think I’ll have to give Give and Take another reading.

With Luck, You Found These Notes on Give and Take Useful

If you go to  this link and sing up with Audible you can get a free version of this book so you can read it just like I did and forget the most important part. Just kidding. If you’re more conventional and like to dog ear the book and mark it up, please feel free to pick it up on amazon here.

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