Adam Grant | Give and Take: How Much Can You Give? (Episode )
Adam Grant is the author of "Give and Take" and he joins us for episode Today we talk about how to give and take for mutual benefit, and lots more! deeper into the relationship to find out what their greatest needs are. Adam Grant dives deep into the spectrum of altruistic to selfish personalities. read Give and Take: A revolutionary approach to Success by Adam Grant. We act like givers in close relationships to our family and friendships. According to Adam Grant, Wharton's most popular and youngest tenured faculty member, author of Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach.
One of the things I found most fascinating about your book is the combination of very rigorous research with some really compelling stories of both givers and takers. Among the various stories you tell, there is one about a person called Peter Audet. Did being a giver help him or hurt him? What are some of the lessons to be learned?
I would say yes to all of the above. Peter Audet is one of my favorite people who I met when I was doing research for the book. For years, he would interview job candidates, and he would only be able to hire one and have to turn everybody else down. A lot of times, this orientation toward helping others got him in trouble.
In one particular case, he had a colleague who I ended up calling Brad in the book, who essentially was getting out of the business, and he needed somebody to buy his clients quickly. Then a couple months later, Peter started losing his clients…. He did a little bit of homework and found out that Brad was back in the business. He was basically taking his clients back and not paying Peter a dime for them. It cost Peter a ton of money.
He really got burned by a taker in that situation. Yet, Peter will tell you, if you talk to him, that he has been enormously successful in his career.
The Surprising Psychology of Givers and Takers | Lemonade Blog
And he will tell you that being a giver is how he has gotten ahead. Oftentimes givers put themselves at risk in the short run. You can see this play out in many, many different situations in his career.
One of my favorites was when he actually drove out to visit a client in the scrap metal business, who was the tiniest of clients, worth very, very little money. The drive out there alone is not worth your hourly fee.
I really want to help in any way I can. He multiplies his fees by a factor of once he sees what a generous guy Peter is. Givers do, in the short run, sometimes lose. Peter has gotten better at protecting himself and screening. Yet, sometimes they do. Going out to see somebody who needed his help multiplied his business manifold. How do successful givers approach networking?
How does their approach differ from, say, takers or matchers? Takers tend to actually have incredibly broad networks. In part, because when they burn one bridge, they have to go and find new people to exploit, in order to keep the network going.
Lessons learned from Give and Take - RWieruch
Matchers tend to have much narrower networks. They will typically only exchange with people who have helped them in the past or who they expect to be able to help them in the future.
They end up restricting their universe of opportunities. Givers tend to build much broader networks than matchers, but in a very different way than takers. Ah, that was one of my favorite bodies of research that I looked into in writing the book. There are a couple of powerful ways to spot a taker. They tried to figure out [if] you could identify the taker CEOs without ever meeting them.
These analysts who knew the CEOs and interacted with them rated the extent to which they were entitled and narcissistic and self-serving. The first factor that really correlated highly with those ratings was the gap in compensation between the CEO and the next highest-paid executive. Typically, a computer industry CEO makes about two to two and a half times as much annual compensation as the next highest-paid executive in that company.
The typical taker CEO had about seven times more annual compensation than the next highest-paid executive in that company. They literally [took] more in terms of compensation. The second cue was looking at their speech. I am the most important and central figure in this company. They were more likely to be pictured alone. What you just said reminds me of a story I read many years ago. When Mahatma Gandhi edited a magazine, he would receive all kinds of letters.
One letter was from a young woman who was about to get engaged. She wanted to know how she could judge this person. Look at how he treats his servants. But a true sign of character is how you treat people who are vulnerable. Now, you also point out that givers and takers differ quite a bit in the way they approach collaboration and sharing credit. Can you give any examples of how this works out? This is one of the most interesting dynamics you could look at.
In doing the research for the book, I use some historical examples here that I found fascinating. One was Frank Lloyd Wright, who at one point discovered, as an architect, that his draftsmen were essentially getting more commissions and more work than he was because customers and clients found them easier to work with and every bit as talented.
He was offended by this and felt they should be subservient to him.
Givers vs. Takers: The Surprising Truth about Who Gets Ahead
He actually set a policy that they were not allowed to accept independent commissions. If while working in his studio they did any work, even if he never touched it, his name had to be signed first. That obviously cost him a lot of very, very talented drafts people. If you look at his legacy, he rarely mentored and championed far fewer great architects than most who achieved similar stature did.
Salk never made a discovery that was nearly as influential again. This is one of the costs of appearing like a taker in a collaboration: What givers tend to do in collaboration is assume that credit is not zero sum. That makes it a lot easier to keep people on board in a team over time. There was a certain bias at work.
Could you explain that?
This comes out of social and cognitive psychology. He would trumpet his accomplishments and really dismiss those of people around him. This is really the discrepancy that exists. Eugene Caruso and his colleagues have done some really powerful research showing that when people are just asked to list the contributions of their team members and their own, they are literally more able to remember their own contributions.
Can you tell us a little bit about how a legendary teacher described in your book does this? The man has taught over 35, students in his career. He has a remarkable gift for bringing out the best in his students. He sees every student who walks into his classroom as a diamond in the rough, waiting to be polished.
Then he tries to make his classes as interesting as possible to bring out the best in those students. But what he finds over time is by making his material interesting, he does shift some people toward becoming more motivated and more hard-working.
This is true of coaches and leaders and managers everywhere. If you look at research by Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues about what made somebody a world-class tennis player or a world-class musician, or even a mathematician or a scientist of great acclaim, very rarely were those world-class candidates superior early on in their careers.
After all, being a successful giver comes with many perks: Here are a few tricks and tools successful givers have up their sleeves to help others while avoiding burnout. How to be a successful giver 1. Doing these quick favors for a coworker or friend can go a long way in strengthening your relationships. Asking a friend or coworker for help gives them the opportunity to be a giver, but also makes them feel good and smart. According to Grant, one of the best ways to build strong relationships is to seek advice, because it creates meaningful opportunities for someone to contribute to your life, and feel fulfilled by it.
Give all at once There are two ways to give: Which is most effective? The chunking, research shows, because it leaves you with a bigger psychological boost of feeling appreciation and meaningfulnesswhich will motivate you to continue being a giver. Devote a particular day or part of a day each week to helping people out. Specialize in favors Successful givers tend to pick one or two ways of helping that they enjoy and excel at, rather than being jacks of all trades.
That way, they get to help in a way that energizes them instead of exhausts them. Keep an eye out for takers Remember the takers we were talking about earlier? Yeah, they like to milk givers for favors. To avoid this, successful givers spot takers early — based on reputation and past experience — and take on a matcher-like attitude. But the key to being a successful giver is also being an authentic giver. Check out the next article in our Givers, Takers, Matchers series, where we explore how these reciprocity styles affect not only individuals, but also industries.
You and a stranger will both receive some money. Which option would you choose? Inafter the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, a US bank executive led a team of employees on a trip to help rebuild New Orleans.
Why do you think he did this? What would you be most likely to do? As you discuss how to divide tasks, it becomes clear that all three of you are extremely interested in two of the tasks, but view the third as quite boring. A few years ago, you helped an acquaintance named Jamie find a job.