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Abandoned by Booklikes

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Helping Others Leads to Success

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success - Adam M. Grant

I hope you don't get too sick of me posting reviews of books I had to complete for my course. I really did enjoy this one a lot. It had a lot of interesting facts and data/examples to show why helping others leads to win/win. It's hard out there if you are a manager and you have employees or bosses that are set to win and they want to make sure that you lose. Heck, I have to deal with agency officials at times that don't want to concede a point since that will be saying (to them at least) that they lost. 


"Give and Take" starts off with Grant laying out a story about an investor and a man who had a great idea for a company (the investor's name was Hornik and the man who pitched an idea to him was named Shader). What I thought was interesting was that Shader felt uneasy since he thought that Hornik in a word was too nice. Hornik suggested he seek out other people and take his time. And Shader was worried that Hornik would spend too much time encouraging him instead of challenging him. Yes in the business world this is apparently bad.


From there, Grant breaks the rest of the book down into "takers" and "givers." I found out through my course work and feedback survey and other surveys I took am a giver. I am also a border crosser (means I go back and forth between groups and am a go to person to do that) and surprise surprise I am also more likely to hit burnout. And in fact my one instructor read through all of my surveys and gave me feedback that I am close now. This book really was eye opening to me that you can be a "giver" and not be taken advantage of and not be seen as weak. That you want to approach ever negotiation as a win-win and not do your level best to wreck your opponent. You do have to be protective of yourself though and not "give" too much of yourself away to others. 


I loved reading that yes "givers" are more likely to land at the bottom of the success leaders, but also they are more likely to land at the top as well. I think it's all about how people perceive givers as the story above shows. In the end I loved that Shader went back to Hornik after realizing the other guy who was a "taker" was ultimately not who he wanted to work with. 

Grant also provides examples of one of the biggest takers out there: Kenneth Lay. What's shocking is how many people knew what Lay was doing, but were talked down to and were not allowed to speak up. Lay was a classic taker and Grant shows numerous ways that he was first and foremost thinking only of himself. 


One of my favorite facts in this book though is Grant showcases a famous lawyer named Dave Walton who used to stutter And he points out other famous people who used to stutter as well such as GE CEO Jack Welch, VP Joe Biden, singer Carly Simon, 20/20 anchor John Stossel and actor James Earl Jones. I used to stutter as a child and had a great speech therapist. I eventually learned to speak without a stutter, and now all of my colleagues don't believe me when I mention that I used to have one. I think that they just see the person before them, not the one who had to jump a lot of hurdles to get to where she is now.

So all in all, a great book that I think would enhance any class on leadership.