There are takers, matchers, and givers. Takers are people who are always out for their own gain. Matchers like to evenly match their giving and taking. Givers just give.
How do you think they compare?
According to Adam Grant, in his book Give and Take, the least successful are givers. Studies in the fields of engineering, medicine, and sales found givers earning 14% less than takers, being 100% more likely to be the victims of crime, and judged 22% less powerful and dominant.
Who is the most successful?
It’s not the greedy takers or the fair-minded matchers - it’s givers again. That was true in all three fields, for example in sales givers averaged 50% more revenue than the takers and matchers.
So generosity can create success - if you do it right.
Before I go any further, I know some of you reading this will be thinking, “but success to me isn’t just about making money.” I completely agree - but there’s something else to consider. The givers who weren’t financially successful weren’t successful in other ways either. They contributed less, and suffered more burnout. So this isn’t just about material success - it’s about whatever success means to you.
So what differentiates the successful and unsuccessful givers?
In brief, it’s about attitude. Those at the top were thinking win-win - they cared about their own aims, goals, and wellbeing, as well as that of those around them. That helped them to give in a sustainable way.
Those at the bottom of the scale, on the other hand, were only thinking of others. While that sounds very noble, it explains the increased tendency towards burnout. (And sometimes the motivation behind it wasn’t so noble - it was often motivated by a fear of being disliked rather than a simple concern for the wellbeing and success of others.)So here's the learning:
- if you want to be really successful, learn to be generous; and...
- if you want to be generous, don't just think of others' needs, remember your own as well.
I'll go into this in more detail, with 3 specific factors, next week.