About the Book

A New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller from Wharton's top-rated professor

Named one of the best books of 2013 by Amazon, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal- as well as one of Oprah's riveting reads, Fortune's must-read business books, and the Washington Post's books every leader should read.

For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But today, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. It turns out that at work, most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.

Combining cutting-edge evidence with captivating stories, Grant shows how one of America's best networkers developed his connections, why the creative genius behind one of the most popular shows in television history toiled for years in anonymity, how a basketball executive responsible for multiple draft busts transformed his franchise into a winner, and how we could have anticipated Enron's demise four years before the company collapsed--without ever looking at a single number.

About the Author

Adam Grant is the youngest tenured professor and single highest-rated teacher at The Wharton School. His consulting and speaking clients include Google, the NFL, Johnson & Johnson, Pixar, Goldman Sachs, the World Economic Forum, the United Nations, and the U.S. Army and Navy.He has been honored as one of Malcolm Gladwell's favorite social science writers, one of BusinessWeek's favorite professors and one of the world's top 40 business professors under 40. He has appeared on the Today Show, Charlie Rose, and Diane Rehm, and was profiled in the New York Times magazine cover story, "Is giving the secret to getting ahead?" He holds a Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan and a B.A. from Harvard University. He is a former record-setting advertising director, junior Olympic springboard diver, and professional magician. For more details, see giveandtake.com

About the Reviews

I'm a social worker and this book gives me more power to exercise my helping hand and makes me optimistic about humanity. I loved reading how good guys consistently find themselves securing positions and income by understanding the mechanics of the power of social goodness. The thesis is consistently referenced and presented in a sophisticated yet (almost entirely) understandable and down-to-earth language. With all the case studies Grant brings, in areas that are only vaguely known to me, but yet that I find interest in, the book flows. (There's only a chapter or so towards the middle that I found hard to get through).

As well, Grant's writing shows he knows how people's mind/heart connection work- with small cliff hangers that he resolves in one paragraph, and sometimes several pages, it's a surprisingly exciting read.

I would give this book to any college kid and tell them not to make any plans before reading it cover to cover. It will improve any willing recipient's social and business choices many fold.


This is close to the best business book I have ever read. Every story had me reflecting on my own behavior and those of the people I work with. He defines several reciprocity styles, givers, takers, matchers, and fakers. It is far more nuanced than this as one reads the book full of research and anecdotal stories it is clear that all of these styles exist in everyone depending on the situation and circumstances and what is the interaction between the parties. Adam Grant simplifies the language to make it more accessible to the reader but on reflection one can easily understand that his simplistic portraits are far more complex than is being revealed. The main point is that giving is multiplier of success but it has its conditions trigger others to become givers as well. Having worked in many large corporations and reflecting on the premise of the book it is easy to understand those internal adversarial cultures and why the are toxic to the soul and the challenges that the HR departments have when trying to create a happy face environment. It is also clear that the main issue is with leadership and why the self appointed leaders can destroy value quickly by over valuing their own self image. Want to understand the problems with executive compensation and leadership, read this book, it won't be obvious at first but try and apply the concepts to an economic system of fairness and giving and it will be evident quickly.

If you live and work by the "Art of War" then this book is going to challenge many of your notions of ruthless winner and in place it might show how diplomacy with a hint of generosity wins over all else in the longer term.


If you are a giver, don't question your values. You are right. If you are feeling burned out, read this book. Turns out givers are at the top and the bottom of the food chain. Takers are not at the top; but conventional culture makes it seem as if that is the way to success. Adam walks you through the differences between givers, matchers, and takers and gives advice on how to avoid burnout --- the thing that sends some well meaning givers to the bottom is burnout; not that they give.

Product Info

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Viking; Edition Unstated edition (April 9, 2013)
Language: English
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 693 customer reviews

Check out this Book