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Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success | [Adam M. Grant, Ph.D.]

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success

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.
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Publisher's Summary

An innovative, groundbreaking book that will captivate listeners of Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink, The Power of Habit, and Quiet

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.

Using his own pioneering research as Wharton's youngest tenured professor, Grant shows that these styles have a surprising impact on success. Although some givers get exploited and burn out, the rest achieve extraordinary results across a wide range of industries. Combining cutting-edge evidence with captivating stories, this landmark book 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.

Praised by best-selling authors such as Dan Pink, Tony Hsieh, Dan Ariely, Susan Cain, Dan Gilbert, Gretchen Rubin, Bob Sutton, David Allen, Robert Cialdini, and Seth Godin - as well as senior leaders from Google, McKinsey, Merck, Estée Lauder, Nike, and NASA - Give and Take highlights what effective networking, collaboration, influence, negotiation, and leadership skills have in common. This landmark book opens up an approach to success that has the power to transform not just individuals and groups, but entire organizations and communities.

©2013 Adam M. Grant Ph.D. (P)2013 Penguin Audio

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  •  
    Julia Corinth, NY, United States 04-15-13
    Julia Corinth, NY, United States 04-15-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A few real surprises"
    Would you listen to Give and Take again? Why?

    I'll be listening to this book again, at least once. I will be putting time into some changes based on the compassion fatigue concept and the lek concept -- really new ideas for me.


    Any additional comments?

    The idea that people don't burn out due to overwork but instead underwin -- I'm going to be putting that into action right away.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 04-15-13
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 04-15-13 Member Since 2012

    Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!

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    "Give ‘Til it Helps - Your Company"

    My first reaction to Andrew M. Grant’s “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Management” was “You’ve got to be kidding! Are you really telling me that if we hold hands, sing ‘Kumbaya’, and share our shovels in the sandbox, everything will be okay at the office?”
    That’s not what Grant was saying - at all – but it took an uncomfortably long time for him to get to that point.

    Grant advances the position that those who give generously, both professionally and personally, are more likely to be successful than “takers” (about 15% of people) or “matchers” ( about 70%). It’s a compelling argument, and Grant backs up his position with widely regarded studies and valid statistics. According to Grant, a business organization is well served by finding and developing givers (sharers), whose collaborative work with other givers often returns far more than the work of takers or matchers.

    Grant also points out an important fault of givers: Statistically, givers are also more likely to be low achievers or failures, if they become “doormats.” Grant has some valuable tips for doormats to recognize takers, and extract themselves from “no sum” or “negative sum” relationships.

    I listened to “Give and Take” on the heels of Sheryl Sandberg’s 2013 “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” I wondered until halfway through the book if Grant was even considering women in the workplace. Many of the “giver” techniques he recommends are the very techniques that, when used by women leaders, erode whatever leadership foundation they have.

    Grant eventually points out that the communication techniques he is recommending will not work for anyone presenting in a leadership role (at a board meeting, for example), although they will work for a leader as a team member.

    Grant has some invaluable tips for how women can effectively negotiate higher salaries and gain respect in an organization, even while they are “givers” (or “sharers”, in my parlance).

    This book didn’t have the impact “Lean In” did for me, but it had some invaluable suggestions I will incorporate into my life. I am now much more confident about being a “giver” and recognizing “takers”.

    I had an unexpected issue with the narration of this book: Brian Keith Davis, the reader, is so smooth, he reminded me of Casey Kasem, the host of American Top 40. I listened to that radio show every Sunday night as a teenager, eagerly waiting to find out what the new Number 1 song was. Several times, after an especially positive anecdote in “Give and Take”, I expected to hear a current pop song. As I write this review, the Number 1 Billboard song Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop.” That is especially apropos for this book.

    32 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Fisher South Africa 04-30-13
    G. Fisher South Africa 04-30-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Great research conveyed through compelling stories"
    If you could sum up Give and Take in three words, what would they be?

    Compelling interesting research


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Adam Grant as the author and primary researcher behind the thesis of this book.


    What did you learn from Give and Take that you would use in your daily life?

    Good guys don't need to come second.
    Ones reciprocity style has broad and meaningful implications.


    Any additional comments?

    Great stories that convey empirically sound research.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Yoshida Pasadena, CA USA 08-23-13
    A. Yoshida Pasadena, CA USA 08-23-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Not a persuasive book"

    This wasn't a persuasive book about how you can be a Giver and still be successful. There were a lot of anecdotal stories of how Givers overcame obstacles and became successful. And it's comforting to hear that nice people can win. However, both Givers and Takers have been successful and have failed. There aren't any facts to back up that being a Giver is better overall in the long run.

    If you are a Giver, the book does point out some vulnerabilities to be aware of, such as too trusting, too empathetic, and too timid. It is followed by a little bit of practical advice, such as offering help to someone and see how the person responds (also give unsolicited, reciprocate with same level of time or effort, or only take). If the person is a Taker, then stop offering help. The relationship will naturally diminish as the Taker finds no value in it when you're not a pushover.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin United States 05-15-13
    Kevin United States 05-15-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Learn how givers come out on top"

    I have been listening to books in the behavioral/psychology/business arena for about three years now and this one is my favorite. The writing is very nicely organized and the narration was excellent. The book is arranged as a series of short stories that describe real world scenarios of different reciprocity styles: givers, matchers, and takers. The short stories are bridged with research findings that tie it all together. The author gives compelling reasons and examples for why and how givers come out ahead. He also describes the pitfalls of too much giving, as well as the disadvantages of being a matcher or taker. This book made me evaluate my own styles that I use at work, home, and in my community. It is very possible to be a giver without falling to the bottom and becoming a doormat.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexandra Gainesville, VA, United States 05-17-14
    Alexandra Gainesville, VA, United States 05-17-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Enjoyable and informative"

    I found this to be a useful new lens with which to examine actions. Although I'm not quite sure whether I'm a giver, taker, or matcher, now I can ask myself in a particular situation which I'm acting like, and whether that's optimal. The anecdotes chosen to illustrate each chapter were distinctive and memorable. Definite recommend.

    The one thing that truly distracted from my enjoyment of this book was the narrator's attempt to imitate voices. Sorry, dude- your Australian sounds like he's from Boston.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Lea Ypsilanti, MI United States 05-12-14
    Julie Lea Ypsilanti, MI United States 05-12-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Ok book - terrible narration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Give and Take to be better than the print version?

    I've given up on the audio version of this book and will be getting the print version instead. The narration is just that bad. Every time the author quotes someone, the narrator slows down and lowers his voice so I was constantly having to adjust the volume of the book and back up for the quiet bits that I missed before I could make the adjustment. I also have an issue with giving certain quotes an Australian accent. The author points out that the person quoted is Australian, but this isn't a novel - throwing on a single accent to the book is distracting. I don't know if the fault is with the narrator or whoever directed the audio recording, but I just couldn't stomach it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Niels Utrecht, Netherlands 01-30-14
    Niels Utrecht, Netherlands 01-30-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Good guys don't alway finish last"
    What did you love best about Give and Take?

    Listening to this book was refreshing, exciting and rewarding. Why? Because it shows that success doesn't need to come at the expense of others but by helping others.

    Personally, I always questioned wether my urge to help others was affecting my success business in a negative way. Maybe I just needed to become a more tough and less compassionate entrepreneur? Now I know that being kind and giving to others can lead to bigger success than being unkind and taking from others.

    Being a (very) successful giver is possible, that's great news!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Forest Lake, MN, United States 10-13-13
    Jill Forest Lake, MN, United States 10-13-13 Member Since 2008

    Books-I stash them like I stash my yarn or my fabric. I used to have piles of books. Now they go where I go-in my back pocket--on the ipod

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    "I found my self arguing during the commute."

    I typically like books that focus on how to improve corporate cultures, and leadership skills. However, this book fell flat. Not even one bounce. As I listened, I found that I was arguing with the author during my commute-mostly about how I have known many givers in my personal and professional lives. But they, like everyone, gives and takes in this world. It is almost like a "currency" of sorts. The goal is to have a sustainable amount in your "bank" account, not too much, not too little. A healthy balance. It was a challenging listen in the fact that despite the statistics that were presented, I wasn't that impressed how the author states that if you practice giving, your career, relationships at work, etc will improve. Read the book, don't read the book. It is one of those choices. Kind of like be a giver, or be a taker. Once again-a choice, and what I find in the end it should be a zero sum game.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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