Book summary: GIVE AND TAKE by Adam Grant.

What you get in this post: in this post, I have covered all chapter’s lessons

So stay tuned till the end.

For just 1 page summary you can click here.

Why do you have to read this book summary?


Perhaps the most significant book of the new century is Give and Take.

This book will have a significant impact on how we manage our careers, interact with friends and family, parent our children, and create our institutions.


“Give and Take is packed with profound lessons.

Give and Take cuts through the clutter of clichés in the marketplace and offers a refreshing new perspective on the art and science of success.

It is as brilliant as it is wise. This is not just a book. Give and Take is an enjoyable book to read, is incredibly educational, and is very likely to become a classic work on workplace leadership and management.

Want to know how?

Favorite quote: “You can’t just ignore someone because you don’t think they’re important enough.”

Let’s get started.

Chapter 1: Good Returns

The Dangers and Rewards of Giving More Than You Get

Generally speaking, highly successful people share three characteristics: opportunity, ability, and motivation. We require a trifecta of talent, hard work, and good fortune if we want to succeed.

We have a decision to make with each interaction we have with a co-worker: do we try to extract as much value as possible, or do we give without considering what we might get in return?

Takers have a defining characteristic: they prefer to receive more than they give. They favor reciprocity in their favor by prioritizing their own needs over those of others. Takers consider the world to be a cutthroat, dog-eat-dog environment.

They believe that in order to succeed, they must outperform everyone else. They promote themselves and make sure they receive a lot of credit for their work in order to establish their competence.

Givers are a relatively uncommon breed at work. They prefer to give more than they receive, tilting reciprocity in the other direction.

Givers are other-focused, paying more attention to what other people need from them, in contrast to takers who are typically self-focused and consider what other people can offer them.

The distinction between givers and takers is not based on the amount of money each person donates to charity or the salary they receive from their employer.

Givers and takers differ instead in how they view and treat other people.

If you are a taker, you will strategically assist others when the advantages outweigh the costs to you. If you’re a generous person, you might employ a different cost-benefit analysis: you lend a hand whenever the advantages to others outweigh the costs to you.

As an alternative, you might choose to help others without considering your own costs and without expecting anything in return.

If you want to be a giver at work, all you have to do is make an effort to be kind when you give to other people who could use your time, energy, knowledge, skills, ideas, and connections.

Chapter 2: The Peacock and the Panda

How Givers, Takers, and Matchers Build Networks

We have understood the value of networking for centuries. Networks have three key benefits, according to Brian Uzzi, a management professor at Northwestern University: private information, a variety of skills, and power.

People can gain invaluable access to knowledge, expertise, and influence by building a strong network.

Numerous studies have shown that those with rich networks receive higher performance reviews, advance through the ranks more quickly, and make more money.

Additionally, networks serve as a useful lens for comprehending the influence of reciprocity styles on success because they are built on interactions and relationships.

How do people interact with those in their networks, and what do they think networking should accomplish?

On the one hand, networking as a concept is frequently associated with negativity.

We frequently ponder whether someone is being friendly with the intention of developing a relationship that will be mutually beneficial, or whether he is acting that way because he wants something from us. You’ve probably dealt with slick schmoozers at some point in your life who are friendly to you on the outside when they need a favor but then stab you in the back or ignore you once they get what they want.

The entire business is painted as Machiavellian, a self-serving activity in which people establish connections only to further their own interests, by this faker style of networking.

Conversely, givers and matchers frequently view networking as a desirable way to get in touch with fresh perspectives and ideas.

Chapter 3: The Ripple Effect

Collaboration and the Dynamics of Giving and Taking Credit

Takers are talented at coming up with original ideas and promoting them in the face of opposition.

They feel liberated from the constraints of social acceptance that limit the imaginations of many people because they have the utmost confidence in their own opinions.

Professors Robert Huckman and Gary Pisano conducted a study to determine whether surgeons improve with experience.

Due to their high demand, surgeons frequently operate in multiple hospitals. Huckman and Pisano monitored 38,577 procedures over a two-year period that were carried out by 203 cardiac surgeons at 43 various hospitals.

They concentrated on coronary artery bypass grafts, in which a patient’s chest is opened and a leg vein or a piece of chest artery is attached to bypass a blockage in an artery leading to the heart.

3 percent of patients died on average during these procedures.

Huckman and Pisano looked at the data and found an intriguing pattern. Overall, the practice didn’t make the surgeons any better.

Only at the particular hospital where they worked did they improve. They reduced the risk of patient mortality by 1% for each procedure they performed at a specific hospital.

However, in other hospitals, the mortality risk remained the same. The surgeons were unable to take their work with them. Their ability to carry out coronary artery bypass grafts wasn’t improving.

They were getting to know specific anesthesiologists and nurses, learning their styles, habits, strengths, and weaknesses.

They were able to prevent patient deaths thanks to their familiarity, but other hospitals were not affected.

The surgeons required connections with particular members of the surgical team in order to lower the risk of patient mortality.

Chapter 4: Finding the Diamond in the Rough

The Fact and Fiction of Recognizing Potential

A reporter questioned Barack Obama about his favorite app as soon as he arrived at the White House. Obama mentioned the iReggie without hesitation, saying that it “has my books, my newspapers, and my music all in one place.”

However, the iReggie wasn’t a piece of software. Reggie Love was the man, and no one could have predicted that he would turn out to be a crucial asset for President Obama.

Love was a standout athlete at Duke, where he achieved the extraordinary feat of holding significant positions on both the basketball and football teams.

But two years after graduating, he tried out for the NFL unsuccessfully, so he changed course. Love, who attended Duke to study political science and public policy, sought out an internship on Capitol Hill.

Despite having no prior work experience and a background as a jock, he managed to land a job in the mailroom of Obama’s Senate office.

However, within a year, Love—then only 26—was promoted from the mailroom to the position of Obama’s bodyman or personal assistant.

Love traveled more than 880,000 miles with Obama while putting in eighteen-hour days of work. Obama said, “Watching him manage so many responsibilities with so little sleep has been inspiring.”

He is an expert at what he does, An aide said Love “took care of the president” after Obama was elected president. Every letter that was delivered to Love’s office received a personal response from him.

Love once told me, “I always wanted to acknowledge people and let them know their voice was heard. Love is “known for his exceptional and universal kindness,” a reporter claimed.

Chapter 5: The Power of Powerless Communication

How to Be Modest and Influence People

We need to communicate in ways that persuade and motivate people to buy our goods, use our services, accept our ideas, and invest in us. However, the most effective influence strategy might not be what you think of first.

According to research, dominance, and prestige are the two main avenues for gaining influence.

We gain influence when we establish dominance because other people regard us as strong, powerful, and authoritative. We gain influence when we achieve prestige because people look up to and respect us.

Our reciprocity styles are closely correlated with these two paths to influence. Takers are drawn to dominance and are excellent at it.

They try to outdo others in order to stake out the greatest amount of value.

Takers are experts at persuasive communication, which they use to establish dominance.

They speak firmly, raise their voices to project authority, express certainty to project confidence, highlight their accomplishments, and sell with conviction and pride.

They project strength by adopting poses of dominance, raising their eyebrows in defiance, occupying as much space as possible, and, when necessary, expressing rage and issuing threats. Takers use strong verbal and nonverbal cues to direct the conversation and set the mood in their quest for influence.

Because of this, takers are frequently much more successful than givers at establishing dominance. But is that the most effective means of influencing?

The more we try to control skeptical audiences, the more resistance we encounter. Dominance is a zero-sum game, even with an amenable audience: the more influence and power I have, the less you have.

Takers run the risk of losing their power when they encounter a more dominant person. In contrast, there is no upper limit to the amount of respect and admiration we can bestow; prestige is not a zero-sum game.

This means that prestige typically has more value over time, so it’s important to consider how people acquire it.

Powerless communication is the opposite of a taker’s powerful communication style.

Powerless communicators frequently express a lot of uncertainty, speak less assertively, and heavily rely on other people’s opinions.

They speak in a way that suggests vulnerability, showing their flaws and utilizing qualifiers, hedges, and hesitations.

People in Western societies, according to Susan Cain’s book Quiet, expect us to communicate effectively. It’s been said that effective communicators employ “power talk” and “power words” to compel followers to follow them.

People undoubtedly find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to influencing when they use powerless communication.

I guess not quite,

It turns out that this approach isn’t always helpful, and givers naturally adopt a weak communication approach that turns out to be surprisingly successful in elevating their status.

In the areas of presenting, selling, persuading, and negotiating, I want to examine how givers gain prestige.

Givers are more likely to ask questions than to give answers, to speak cautiously rather than boldly, to admit their weaknesses rather than highlight their strengths, and to seek advice rather than to impose their opinions on others because they value the perspectives and interests of others.

Chapter 6: The Art of Motivation Maintenance

Why Some Givers Burn Out but Others Are On Fire

Up until now, our attention has been on how givers ascend to the top of the success ladder through the distinctive ways they create networks, work together, communicate, and influence others in order to help them realize their potential.

Givers, however, are also more likely to fall to the bottom of the success ladder, as you saw in the first chapter. Success involves not only maximizing the benefits of giving but also avoiding its drawbacks.

When people give too much time, they find themselves sacrificing their own energy for the benefit of their network connections and collaborators.

It’s all too simple for people to turn into doormats and pushovers if they give away too much credit and communicate with others in a way that isn’t in their best interests.

Givers become exhausted and unproductive as a result.

People who are selflessly giving tend to have high other-interest and low self-interest.

They sacrifice their time and effort without thinking about their own needs, and as a result, they suffer.

such that those who are trying to help others end up hurting themselves in the process.

Without the need to protect oneself, selfless giving can quickly become overwhelming.

Being otherish means being open to giving more than you receive while still keeping an eye on your own interests and using them as a compass when deciding how, where, and to whom you give. rather than considering conflicting self- and other interests.

Why would someone who is giving feel undervalued?

The issue was that the givers weren’t receiving the rewards that they found to be most motivating.

The fact that the takers were employed at the job with the highest pay on campus served as motivation for them.

However, the rewards that were most important to the givers were absent.

Givers care greatly about performing tasks that benefit other people, in contrast to takers who typically prioritize their own personal gain from their work.

The majority of the donations that callers brought in went directly to student scholarships, but the callers were kept in the dark about who the money was going to and how it would affect their lives.

Chapter 7: Chump Change

Overcoming the Doormat Effect

One study asked Harvard students to forecast the giving and taking tendencies of their close friends and total strangers.

The fifty tokens, each worth between ten and thirty cents, were given to friends and strangers, who were instructed to distribute them among themselves and the Harvard students.

The ability of the Harvard students to predict the amount that their friends would donate was on par with their ability to predict the actions of total strangers.

The researchers note that although people “correctly expect that friends will pass more tokens than strangers,” “they do not expect more tokens from generous friends compared to selfish friends.”

This is a critical error because the friends who give end up giving much more than the friends who take.

Givers know when to raise their guard once they begin to use their sincerity screening abilities to spot potential takers.

Although many successful givers begin by assuming the best in others, they are also vigilant in scanning their surroundings for potential takers, always prepared to switch from empathizing with a taker’s emotions to questioning a taker’s motives and flexible in switching from giving unconditionally to a more measured approach of generous tit for tat.

Successful givers are prepared to tap into their reserves of assertiveness from their commitments to the people who matter to them when they feel like backing down.

Chapter 8: The Scrooge Shift

Why a Soccer Team, a Fingerprint, and a Name Can Tilt Us in the Other Direction

Consider Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia created by more than a million volunteers for free, with over 100,000 of them making regular contributions.

 Few volunteers who were asked why they contribute to Wikipedia said that it is because they want to network, improve their reputations, feel less lonely, or feel needed and valued. But they didn’t just focus on the comparatively altruistic value of helping others.

Wikipedia editors volunteer their time to thoroughly summarize and cross-reference each entry, even though they may not always be generous in other areas of their lives.

Why? Two factors dominated all others in the survey: they thought it was entertaining and they thought the information should be available for free.

Writing Wikipedia entries is an unusual experience for many volunteers because it both fulfills their own interests and helps others.

Chapter 9: Out of the Shadows

The author provides an illustration: The successful people I most admire are givers, and I believe it is my duty to try and share what I’ve learned from them with others.

My assignment when I first started at Wharton was to impart leadership, management, and negotiation skills to some of the best analytical minds in the world.

I made the choice to introduce them to reciprocity styles by asking them who they believed would reach the bottom of the success ladder, which served as the inspiration for this book’s introduction.

Givers were the nearly universal conclusion. The students were evenly split between matches and takers when I asked who rises to the top.

I, therefore, made the decision to teach them a concept they considered heretical. I cautioned them, “You might be underestimating the success of givers.”

It is true that some individuals who consistently lend a helping hand to others without anticipating anything in return end up at the bottom.

With a few tweaks, however, the same giving mindset can also help someone advance in their career. Focus your attention and efforts on improving the lives of others, and success may come as a byproduct.

Thank you for your time.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?