Adam Grant, Give and Take; on being “otherish”

A brief review of Give and Take, which I checked out from the Ann Arbor District Library.

Grant writes about a number of people he calls givers, who are generous to a fault when sharing their time and expertise, even when there is not a sure bet that the generosity will be repaid. He contrasts this with the matchers, who always keep track of favors, and the takers who seek to exploit every circumstance.

Grant likes givers, but recognizes that sometimes people give too much and never manage to get things in return. These selfless people tend to burn out when too many things go opposite to their interests. He opens up the opportunity to recognize a newly coined word “otherish” – an opposite of selfish where you consider both your interests and the others interests simultaneously. “Otherish” people are looking for win-win situations, as opposed to selfless people who end up in win-lose setups.

“Givers are overrepresented at the top, as well as at the bottom, of most success measures.”

An interview with Adam Grant about the book is a 25 minute version which touches on several more high points of the book.

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