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The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customerThedore Lewitt

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Give and Take

Give and Take

How to play the collective game in the best interests of yourself and others.

Author(s): Adam Grant

Publisher: Viking

Date of publication: 2013

Buy this book [amazon.com]


Is it in our best interest to be nice and generous in the business world? Shouldn’t we rather constantly focus on finding a give-and-take balance, or even do our best to take advantage of others to our own benefit? This is the question the author poses. The surprising answer is that spontaneously generous people tend to be most professionally successful, but fail the most often as well! Helping others succeed and giving boosts without expecting anything in return are behaviors that tend to foster success, provided that you do not lose sight of your own objectives. Indeed, those who help others without taking account of their own needs tend to miss their own objectives, even end up exhausted by their altruism.

In this plea for generosity, one might fear an angelic, do-gooder tone. This pragmatic message is nothing of the sort:  how can you contribute to others’ success while ensuring your own? Both are compatible with the proactive practice of giving small boosts. The latter quickly produce unsuspected leverage, helping us develop our network and take advantage of unforeseen opportunities.

It is impossible to remain impervious to these examples of generosity. And to help us move into action, the author suggests many simple ways that we too can show our generosity!