In addition to the fiction I read each night in bed I usually have another book going, something that inspires and informs me. Give and Take is a perfect example. It’s the kind of fun, provacative stuff that makes you want to tell everybody what you just read.
Adam Grant divides us into three categories: Givers, Matchers and Takers. After reading this you begin to look at everybody to determine which one they are. Many of us who are drawn to nonprofits fit easily into the Giver category. But the interesting thing here is the revelation that the most successful people are Givers! And the least successful are also Givers!
Takers are the people who take more than they give. Matchers try to keep a balance, they do something for you but they expect something in return (I became very aware of my husband’s tendency to want a tit-for-a-tat). Givers give more than they take.
Givers Build Better Nonprofits
Adam Grant does not profile a nonprofit leader but you’ll find lots of ideas here that shed light on organizations successes and failures. The concept of “dormant ties” is instantly valuable for building the circle of friends that will contribute to the growth of your organization. Adam wrote a short article on LinkedIn, Finding the Hidden Value in Your Network, which will be instantly usable and may inspire you to read the book.
The book profiles Adam Rifkin, the person Fortune magazine named Most Connected. In his words “If more business leaders succeed through principled giving of time, energy, connections, and knowledge, the world will be a better place. I want to live in a world where more people have this kind of success.” He’s talking about you! As nonprofit executives and board members you have every opportunity to be those leaders. The book provides lots of inspiration, justification and tips for being a successful Giver.
Adam Grant makes it even easier by offering lots of great tools in the last chapter. I was particularily interested in Reciporicity Rings, it was new to me and a great concept (read more about them at Humax).
According to the jacket blurb, Adam Grant is the youngest tenured professor and single highest-rated teacher at The Wharton School. According to Wikipedia he is (only) 31 years old. Somehow, in addition to earning his Ph.D. he was a record-setting advertising director, junior Olympic springboard diver, and professional magician. Honors include BusinessWeek’s favorite professors and one of the world’s top 40 business professors under 40.
PS I seem to be writing about young men setting the world on fire with their big ideas. You can bet I’m going in search of some women after this!
PPS Go ahead and connect to Adam Rifkin, the world’s most connnected person, on LinkedIn, he’ll accept.