Review | Give & Take by Adam Grant

This business book, like most of its kind, seeks to provide practical applications for people working in the corporate world. I think it does just that, but is a standout because it is genuinely intriguing at a human level. You might say, this is the thing that separates most good business books from the pack.

Grant is a Wharton (UPenn) professor of some renown, with an impressive track record in phsychology and the social sciences. I am impressed by his light sprinkling of personal anecdotes throughout the text – which is primarily built from real-world examples and scholarly studies. In particular I’m a fan of his experience speaking to a group of U.S. military colonels as a fresh-faced PhD professional expert to the defense industry. It is a great lesson in humility, turned into a positive learning experience. The example ultimately brings home the point of “givers” being naturally humble – which can be a strength when combined with professional competence.

So, what’s the most important thing to know about “Give and Take”? If you’re looking to find ways to be more giving of yourself and your time, while continuing to achieve personal success in your career, the book provides ample studies and real-world examples of “givers” doing just that.

A core theme of the book is that professionals who give more of themselves in an intelligent way, contrary to popular thought, are actually some of the most successful people. Dave Ramsey talks about something very similar in his series of personal finance books when he references some of the wealthiest people in the world are the most altruistic. Indeed, Grant’s example of John Huntsman Sr. is a perfect example of just this.

This is a quick and worthwhile read from the “business” section of your favorite bookseller’s shelf.

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