An excellent book that reinforces much of what I believe about the value of giving. The pivotal idea in this particular book is that there is more than one way of being a “Giver.” Author Adam Grant, the youngest tenured professor at the Wharton School, presents compelling research on the nature of human interactions relative to professional success. He identifies three main personality types: Givers, Takers and Matchers. He opens the book by sharing research that shows some of the least successful people in businesses are Givers. He follows that up with the secondary revelation that so are some of the mostsuccessful people.
The book hinges on a distinction Grant makes between “selfless” giving and “otherish” giving. It’s the difference between being a burned out disaffected doormat for others and creating a way of helping others that assesses more clearly an investment strategy that moves everyone forward. His case studies and profiles are really interesting. The real people he introduces us to (some agreed to use their real names and some use pseudonyms) find their way toward this “otherish” style of giving through a variety of means.
One young Teach for America teacher ended up starting a nonprofit to coach promising disadvantaged students interested in continuing their education in addition to her overwhelming day job as a high school teacher in a tough Philadelphia school. Doing something that was impactful and meaningful energized her and motivated her beyond the discouraging daily routine she had in the classroom. Ultimately, it affected her classroom environment in a positive way and she ended up creating an informal mentoring program among her fellow teachers.