Education in the West is geared towards survival, being the strongest, and to take advantage of every opportunity. What happens when someone’s nature is not wired to advance at any cost? Are people whose call is to help and give to the world doomed to always come last?
Adam Grant has a new proposal. In his book Give and Take he describes three main types of people: takers, matchers, and givers. He explains that usually in our personal lives we operate as givers or matchers; however, in our professional environment we normally operate as matchers – i.e. I give/help in the same measure and to the people from whom I receive benefits.
Adam Grant explains that there is a taboo in the corporate world regarding givers since they are perceived as pushovers and weak. Even givers themselves tend to be in the closet disguised as matchers to survive in the work place.
Give and Take provides a refreshing and a healthy way to come out of the closet and be a giver at full speed without being a softy or weak. Adam Grant explains how givers make everyone around them and themselves successful; they show us that there is a larger pie to be shared and the more we pay it forward the greater this pie becomes.
I greatly liked Give and Take. First, it clearly describes a subject that is mostly talked about behind closed doors. Second, Adam Grant’s proposal offers healthy channels to give and pay it forward. Finally, it has practical guides to avoid becoming weak, spent, and taken advantage of insatiable takers.
As I read the book I asked myself what was my style. I think I am a mix of matcher and giver both in my personal and professional lives. I have an acute sense of justice so if I come across with a taker I would give only once. I learned how to spot takers, other ways to deal with them, and new and more open ways to give without the feeling of being negatively judged.
Some of the phrases that caught my attention:
“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” Samuel Johnson.
“It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others.” John Andrew Holmes.
“How do I know who I am until I see what I do? E.M. Forster