Huntsman Alumni Magazine

Fall 2013

Required Reading: Give and Take by Adam Grant

This year’s required reading is the book “Give and Take” by Adam Grant, the highest-rated teacher at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and its youngest tenured professor.

His book, described as a “revolutionary approach to success,” says that people fall into three categories: “takers,” “givers,” and “matchers.” He said takers are always focused on getting as much as they can from other people. Matchers are those who give, when others are willing to do the same for them.

Givers, he said, are a “rare breed” who instinctively give to others without expecting anything in return. Dr. Grant explains that while some givers end up being exploited and burning out, others achieve “extraordinary success.” Dr. Grant writes about what he has discovered about why some givers struggle and others succeed.

“To figure out why givers dominate at the top of the success ladder, we’ll examine startling studies and stories that illuminate how giving can be more powerful – and less dangerous – than most people believe,” he writes.

He said that while there are successful people in all three categories, he’s discovered that when “takers” win someone else tends to lose. When “givers” succeed, “it spreads and cascades.”