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Book Review: Give and Take- A Revolutionary Approach to Success.

India, June 3 -- "Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success" is a book written by Adam Grant, who is a Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The book talks about different types of people and the different traits that they possess. Motivation, opportunity and ability are three qualities, which are common among successful people.

The author says that to achieve success there is no short cut, and one should put in hard work for that. Two more things that are integral to success are talent and luck. In the book, the author provides us with another critical point, which decides if a person is successful or not. Our communication skills and how we project ourselves to others are the two important parts of the fourth element - that is often not talked about when we ask about key ingredients to success.

A person, who is successful, always tries to make an interaction fruitful without worrying if he is gaining something from that conversation. The author says that there are two kinds of people in an office environment - givers and takers. For a taker, he/she always believes that to be successful he/she has to be better than others, whereas a giver believes in sharing his/her knowledge with others. They are generous. The author says that givers are a rare breed and are very difficult to find in today's office environment where everything is so cut-throat.

In an interesting observation, Grant says that if one wants to influence - he has only two paths - dominance and prestige. In the former case, influence is gained because people around us see us as powerful, authoritative and strong. In the latter care, prestige is earned because we have become influential, and thus people around us respect us. So in this context, takers will be the one who will fall in the former category while the givers will always be in the latter zone.

One has to understand that all givers cannot be successful and this also calls for what differentiates successful givers from failed givers. What differentiates successful givers is - they are more self-interested and they "are just as ambitious as takers and matchers." Matchers are those people who aim to trade evenly.

The author also tries to explain in this book why some givers are not able to succeed - and to be too much concerned about others doesn't help always. One has to maintain a balance and try and find a middle path where a giver has the traits of both the taker and the matcher.

The author also says that we all should learn from givers, and try to be generous and not always think about surpassing others. We should dedicate a fairly good length of time in office to learn from the givers to make our life more meaningful.

About the author:Adam Grant is Wharton's youngest full Professor and top-rated Teacher. He is the Author of Give and Take, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling book that is being translated into more than two dozen languages.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from The CTO Forum.

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Publication:The CTO Forum
Date:Jun 3, 2014
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