Review :

In traditional old-school reciprocity, people operated like matchers, trading value back and forth with one another. We helped the people who helped us, and we gave to the people from whom we wanted something in return. But today, givers like Adam Rifkin are able to spark a more powerful form of reciprocity. Instead of trading value, Rifkin aims to add value. His giving is governed by a simple rule: the five-minute favor. "You should be willing to do something that will take you five minutes or less for anybody."

Wonderful book! With keen sense of observation and understanding the psychology behind people's behaviors, Adam Grant, the world's top business professor at the Wharton School, argues that self-interest is not the only driving force for success. His research examinations reveal that in professional settings people act as either takers, givers or matchers. These reciprocity styles have direct impact on how and why they succeed or fail: "Whereas takers tend to be self-focused, evaluating what other people can offer them, givers tilt reciprocity in the other direction, preferring to give more than they get, hence paying more attention to what others need from them". Matchers stand somewhere in between. "They strive to preserve an equal balance of giving and taking. Matchers operate on the principle of fairness: when they help others, they protect themselves by seeking reciprocity."
In our close relationships like marriage or friendships, most of us show up as givers; contributing without keeping scores, enjoying the time and effort we put into helping our loved ones. However, when it comes to work, we think we have to focus on our own interests. We believe that those who combine motivation and ability with a good share of self-opportunism will rise to the top of the success ladder faster, stronger and more profitable. In other words, takers are the winners. Now, the important question is: Is it always true Well not according to Mr. Grant! With the support of numerous examples and extensive references, Adam Grant demonstrates that "Givers, takers, and matchers all can- and do- achieve success. But there's something distinctive that happens when givers succeed: it spreads and cascades." Giving is essentially risky. But when it's structured in an intelligent and creative way so that a combination of interest, networking, motivation and uniqueness is present, the positive effects of such business ethic cascades through the entire network. Interesting! You might ask how Or why Well... to find out the answer, I'd recommend you read the book yourself! It's totally worth the time...

Before closing this review, I'd like to first introduce you to a website: Here you can take a free survey that tests your "giver" quotient. You can also invite people in your network to rate your reciprocity style...
The next "give"away is a video (here) in which the author gives an overview of his book (Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success) using an entire deck of playing cards...
And finally, here is one of my most favorite picks from the book, which is an advice from Mr. Grant to those who want to practice giving (taken from one of his interviews, with a reference to the last chapter, also opening of my review):
One way to test the water is to do what the serial entrepreneur Adam Rifkin calls "the five minute favor." If you're motivated to give, to be helpful and make a difference-which most people are-you don't have to be Mother Theresa or Ghandi. In fact, that's not sustainable for most of us. Instead of worrying about getting sucked into extremely time-consuming acts of helping and giving, you should look for ways to add high value to others, at a low personal cost. If you can add a few more five minute favors to each week, it's a great way to contribute more value to other people without making a personal sacrifice.

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