17 Quotes From “Give and Take” by Adam Grant
1) As Samuel Johnson purportedly wrote, “The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.”
2) Regardless of their reciprocity styles, people love to be asked for advice.
3) Although many successful givers start from the default of trusting others’ intentions, they’re also careful to scan their environments to screen for potential takers, always ready to shift from feeling a taker’s emotions to analyzing a taker’s thoughts, and flex from giving unconditionally to a more measured approach of generous tit for tat. And when they feel inclined to back down, successful givers are prepared to draw reserves of assertiveness from their commitments to the people who matter to them.
4) Above all, I want to demonstrate that success doesn’t have to come at someone else’s expense.
5) Being a giver is not good for a 100-yard dash, but it’s valuable in a marathon.
6) The more I help out, the more successful I become. But I measure success in what it has done for the people around me. That is the real accolade.
7) When takers win, there’s usually someone else who loses. Research shows that people tend to envy successful takers and look for ways to knock them down a notch. In contrast, when givers like David Hornik win, people are rooting for them and supporting them, rather than gunning for them. Givers succeed in a way that creates a ripple effect, enhancing the success of people around them.
8) Otherish givers may appear less altruistic than selfless givers, but their resilience against burnout enables them to contribute more.
9) Research shows that takers harbor doubts about others’ intentions, so they monitor vigilantly for information that others might harm them, treating others with suspicion and distrust. These low expectations trigger a vicious cycle, constraining the development and motivation of others. Even when takers are impressed by another person’s capabilities or motivation, they’re more likely to see this person as a threat, which means they’re less willing to support and develop him or her.
10) New research shows that advice seeking is a surprisingly effective strategy for exercising influence when we lack authority.
11) Most of the jobs you get are more or less through word of mouth, or a recommendation. It’s really important to have a good reputation.
12) This is what I find most magnetic about successful givers: they get to the top without cutting others down, finding ways of expanding the pie that benefit themselves and the people around them. Whereas success is zero-sum in a group of takers, in groups of givers, it may be true that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
13) Talented people are attracted to those who care about them.
14) Takers tend to worry that revealing weaknesses will compromise their dominance and authority. Givers are much more comfortable expressing vulnerability: they’re interested in helping others, not gaining power over them, so they’re not afraid of exposing chinks in their armor. By making themselves vulnerable, givers can actually build prestige. But there’s a twist: expressing vulnerability is only effective if the audience receives other signals establishing the speaker’s competence.
15) You never know where somebody’s going to end up. It’s not just about building your reputation; it really is about being there for other people.
16) Strong ties provide bonds, but weak ties serve as bridges: they provide more efficient access to new information. Our strong ties tend to travel in the same social circles and know about the same opportunities as we do. Weak ties are more likely to open up access to a different network, facilitating the discovery of original leads.
17) Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.