Word Of the Week #583: Giver

October 8, 2015 by  

Giver – a person who has an internal desire to genuinely share.

Do you have an internal desire to genuinely share? How well do you interact with others? Do you believe that you can ambitiously pursue your own goals and equally and simultaneously care about benefiting others?

The UT San Diego featured Adam Grant’s book GIVE and TAKE in the article “Being a ‘giver,’ not a ‘taker,” is good for business.,” Authors Barbara Bry and Neil Senturia write, “This book’s premise is simple. Traditionally, the entrepreneurial drivers to success have been passion, hard work, talent, dedication and luck.

But Grant argues (and proves) that success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. In other words, success hinges more on effective networking, collaboration, influence, negotiation, and leadership – all of which are informed by and made more valuable by being a “giver.”a giver

Grant posits that there are three kinds of people in the world: “takers,” “matchers,” and “givers.” We all know what a taker is – scorched earth, sort of what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine. A taker is always thinking “what can you do for me?” rather than “what can I do for you?”

Matchers are slightly more evolved. They have an internal balance mechanism that measures giving and taking – recognizing the basic principle of win-win, but always measuring. They know clearly when they are not being reciprocated.

And then there are givers. This is the enlightened species that provides service, guidance, care, feeding and comfort without any immediate expectation of recompense or match or equality. The giver is someone who has an internal desire to genuinely share. Now before you chuckle at the naiveté of being a giver, the book also explains how to be a giver with being a schmuck. The giver comes from a position of power, not weakness.

Grant uses many examples of successful high profile “givers” including a quote from a man whom some would consider a world-class taker, Bill Gates. “There are two great forces of human nature – self-interest and caring for others,” and it is proven that people are the most successful when they develop a hybrid engine, mixing the two fuels. He gets it.

Successful givers are “otherish.” They are ambitious in their own goals and equally and simultaneously care about benefiting others.

This week’s focus is on being a giver. Do you believe that you can combine self-interest and caring for others and be successful? Do you keep track of who “owes you” and doesn’t reciprocate? Are you willing to give of yourself without any immediate payback?

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