Nice guys finish last.
That’s what people say, but is it true? Adam Grant delves into the dynamics of successful givers in “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success”. Adam has a BA from Harvard, a PhD in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan, and is The Wharton’s School youngest tenured professor and their highest rated teacher.
He writes about three different styles when it comes to interacting with other people.
- 1. Giver Style: Putting others interests ahead of their own interests.
- 2. Taker Style: Putting their own interests ahead of others’ interests.
- 3. Matching Style: Trying to balance giving and getting.
He discovers that yes, sometimes nice guys finish last. He concludes that across a variety of occupations, “on average, givers earn 14 percent less money, have twice the risk of becoming victims of crimes, and are judged as 22 percent less powerful and dominant.” Certainly, this is what we expect to hear, and it may be why– even though we value giving– we don’t give in certain situations. We confine our giving to friends, family, and close relationships.
But nice guys don’t always finish last. Sometimes, they finish first. Grant research also reveals that across the board, the highest performers are givers. Grant writes, “Over the course of medical school, being a giver accounts for 11 percent higher grades… in sales… the top performers were givers and they averaged 50 percent more annual revenue than takers and matchers.”
Givers end up at the top and the bottom of the pack, while takers and matchers end up in the middle. Grant spends the rest of the book helping you navigate the dangers of giving so that you don’t end up as a doormat and instead arrive at the top of the pack where you belong!
Give, because it will help you be more successful, and read “Give and Take” by Adam Grant to learn how to give effectively at work.