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Table of Contents
                            Praise for Give and Take
Title Page
1 — Good Returns
2 — The Peacock and the Panda
3 — The Ripple Effect
4 — Finding the Diamond in the Rough
5 — The Power of Powerless Communication
6 — The Art of Motivation Maintenance
7 — Chump Change
8 — The Scrooge Shift
9 — Out of the Shadows
Actions For Impact
Document Text Contents
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Give and Take

“Give and Take just might be the most important book of this young century. As insightful and
entertaining as Malcolm Gladwell at his best, this book has profound implications for how we
manage our careers, deal with our friends and relatives, raise our children, and design our
institutions. This gem is a joy to read, and it shatters the myth that greed is the path to success.”

— , author of The No *sshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss

“Give and Take is a truly exhilarating book—the rare work that will shatter your assumptions about
how the world works and keep your brain firing for weeks after you’ve turned the last page.”

, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“Give and Take is brimming with life-changing insights. As brilliant as it is wise, this is not just a
book—it’s a new and shining worldview. Adam Grant is one of the great social scientists of our time,
and his extraordinary new book is sure to be a bestseller.”

— , author of Quiet

“Give and Take cuts through the clutter of clichés in the marketplace and provides a refreshing new
perspective on the art and science of success. Adam Grant has crafted a unique, must-have toolkit for
accomplishing goals through collaboration and reciprocity.”

, executive chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

“Give and Take is a pleasure to read, extraordinarily informative, and will likely become one of the
classic books on workplace leadership and management. It has changed the way I see my personal
and professional relationships, and has encouraged me to be a more thoughtful friend and colleague.”

, NASA space shuttle commander

“With Give and Take, Adam Grant has marshaled compelling evidence for a revolutionary way of
thinking about personal success in business and in life. Besides the fundamentally uplifting character
of the case he makes, readers will be delighted by the truly engaging way he makes it. This is a must

— author of Influence

“Give and Take is a brilliant, well-documented, and motivating debunking of ‘good guys finish last’!
I’ve noticed for years that generosity generates its own kind of equity, and Grant’s fascinating
research and engaging style have created not only a solid validation of that principle but also
practical wisdom and techniques for utilizing it more effectively. This is a super manifesto for getting
meaningful things done, sustainably.”

, author of Getting Things Done

“Packed with cutting-edge research, concrete examples, and deep insight, Give and Take offers

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The Myth of Giver Burnout
Years ago, Dutch psychologists studied hundreds of health professionals. They tracked the amount of
time and energy that the health professionals gave to patients, and asked them to report how burned
out they felt. A year later, the psychologists measured giving and burnout again. Sure enough, the more
the health professionals gave, the more burned out they became in the following year. Those who gave
selflessly had the highest burnout rates: they contributed far more than they got, and it exhausted them.
Those who acted like matchers and takers were far less burned out.

But strangely, in another study, the Dutch psychologists found evidence that some health care
professionals seemed immune to burnout. Even when they gave a great deal of time and energy, they
didn’t exhaust themselves. These resilient health care professionals were otherish givers: they
reported that they enjoyed helping other people and often went out of their way to do so, but weren’t
afraid to seek help when they needed it. The otherish givers had significantly lower burnout rates than
the matchers and takers, who lacked the stamina to keep contributing. This study pointed to an
unexpected possibility: although matchers and takers appear to be less vulnerable to burnout than
selfless givers, the greatest resilience may belong to otherish givers.

Part of the reason for this is illuminated in fascinating work by Northwestern University
psychologists Elizabeth Seeley and Wendi Gardner, who asked people to work on a difficult task that
sapped their willpower. For example, imagine that you’re very hungry, and you’re staring at a plate of
delicious chocolate chip cookies, but you have to resist the temptation to eat them. After using up their
willpower in a task like this, participants squeezed a handgrip as long as they could. The typical
participant was able to hold on for twenty-five seconds. But there was a group of people who were
able to hold on 40 percent longer, lasting for thirty-five seconds.

The participants with unusually high stamina scored high on a questionnaire measuring “other-
directedness.” These other-directed people operated like givers. By consistently overriding their
selfish impulses in order to help others, they had strengthened their psychological muscles, to the
point where using willpower for painful tasks was no longer exhausting. In support of this idea, other
studies have shown that givers accrue an advantage in controlling their thoughts, emotions, and
behaviors. Over time, giving may build willpower like weight lifting builds muscles. Of course, we
all know that when muscles are overused, they fatigue and sometimes even tear—this is what happens
to selfless givers.

In Utah, a seventy-five-year-old man understands the resilience of otherish givers. His name is
Jon Huntsman Sr., and his tiny photo from his company’s annual report appeared in chapter 2, in
juxtaposition with the full-size photo of Kenneth Lay (you might also recognize him as the father of
former Utah governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr.). Back in 1990,
the elder Huntsman was negotiating an acquisition with Charles Miller Smith, who was the president
and CEO of a chemical company. During the negotiations, Smith’s wife died. Huntsman empathized
with Smith, so he decided not to push any further: “I decided the fine points of the last 20 percent of
the deal would stand as they were proposed. I probably could have clawed another $200 million out
of the deal, but it would have come at the expense of Charles’ emotional state. The agreement as it
stood was good enough.”

Was a CEO’s emotional state really worth $200 million to Huntsman? Believe it or not, this

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wasn’t the first time Huntsman gave away a fortune during a negotiation. Just four years earlier, in
1986, he made a verbal agreement with a CEO named Emerson Kampen. Huntsman would sell 40
percent of a division of his company to Kampen’s for $54 million. Due to legal delays, the contract
wasn’t written until six months later. By that time, Huntsman’s profits had skyrocketed: that 40 percent
of the division was now worth $250 million. Kampen called with a matcher’s offer to split the
difference, proposing to pay $152 million instead of the original $54 million. Huntsman was poised
to bring in nearly triple the original agreement. But he said no. The $54 million was good enough.
Kampen was incredulous: “That’s not fair to you.”

Huntsman believed in honoring his commitment to Kampen. Even though the lawyers hadn’t
drafted the original purchase agreement, he had shaken hands six months earlier on a verbal
agreement. He signed for the $54 million, walking away from an extra $98 million. What type of
businessman would make such irrational decisions?

In 1970, Huntsman started a chemical company that reigns today as the world’s largest. He has
been named Entrepreneur of the Year and earned more than a dozen honorary doctorates from
universities around the world. He’s a billionaire, one of the one thousand richest people in the

As his deal-making choices show, Huntsman is also a giver, and not just in business. Since 1985,
he has been involved in serious philanthropy. He is one of just nineteen people in the world who have
given at least $1 billion away. Huntsman has won major humanitarian awards for giving more than
$350 million to found the world-class Huntsman Cancer Center, and made hefty donations to help
earthquake victims in Armenia, support education, and fight domestic violence and homelessness. Of
course, many rich people give away serious sums of money, but Huntsman demonstrates an uncommon
intensity that sets him apart. In 2001, the chemical industry tanked, and he lost a sizable portion of his
fortune. Most people would cut back on giving until they recovered. But Huntsman made an
unconventional decision. He took out a personal loan, borrowing several million dollars to make
good on his philanthropic commitments for the next three years.

Huntsman sounds like a classic example of someone who got rich and then decided to give back.
But there’s a different way of looking at Huntsman’s success, one that might be impossible to believe
if it weren’t backed up by Huntsman’s experience and by science. Maybe getting rich didn’t turn him
into a giver. What if we’ve mixed up cause and effect?

Huntsman believes that being a giver . In his giving pledge, Huntsman
writes: “It has been clear to me since my earliest childhood memories that my reason for being was to
help others. The desire to give back was the impetus for pursuing an education in business, for
applying that education to founding what became a successful container company, and for using that
experience to grow our differentiated chemicals corporation.” As early as 1962, Huntsman told his
wife that he “wanted to start his own business so he could make a difference” for people with cancer.
Huntsman lost both of his parents to cancer, and had survived three bouts of cancer himself. Curing
cancer is so deeply ingrained in Huntsman’s fiber that he has even prioritized it above his political
ideology. Although he worked in the Nixon White House and has been a longtime supporter of the
Republican party, Huntsman has been known to favor Democratic candidates if they demonstrate a
stronger commitment to curing cancer.

There’s little doubt that Huntsman is a skilled businessman. But the very act of
might have contributed to his fortune. In , he writes, “Monetarily, the most

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* Interestingly, even though people of any reciprocity style can internalize a giving identity, there’s still a difference between givers and
takers. In one study at a Fortune 500 retail company with colleagues Jane Dutton and Brent Rosso, I found that when people gave to
help coworkers, they were more likely to see themselves as helpful, generous, and caring people. This is the pattern that emerges for true
givers: repeated acts of voluntary helping contribute to the development of a giver identity in general. For takers, though, the giver identity
that develops may not translate to other roles or organizations. They might become a giver on Freecycle, but when they join another
organization, they shift back to taking until they internalize that organization’s identity. As we saw earlier, the more the organization
provides a sense of optimal distinctiveness, the faster that identification tends to occur.

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