A funny thing happens when you become famous. Adam Grant, a 32-year-old PhD in Management, is the youngest faculty member at the University Of Pennsylvania Wharton School Of Business. Bloomberg BusinessWeek lists him as one of the magazine’s “favorite professors.” His research has had far-reaching implications for the business world and is of the quality noted in The Book of David and Goliath by Malcolm Goldwell et al. He advises Google, Pixar, Goldman Sachs, the United Nations and the NFL. But perhaps most importantly, Grant spends longer hours working and even spending more time helping others with their work. Help yourself and Don’t Give up.
Forgiveness in a Professional Environment is at the heart of his research – which studies meaningful work, helpful behaviors, activism and initiative – and lays the foundation for his book Take and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success (Bestselling). The New York Times Hardcover (to be praised by Fortune, Financial Times, Washington Post and Opera).
Research is eye-opening. As he explains in his book, individuals can be divided into three personality groups: givers, recipients, and adapters. Obviously, the givers give. Recipients are self-driven and use the efforts of others to gain. And the Matchers meet in the middle. The main result of Grant’s research? “In many jobs and industries, it has been found that the least successful people among us are helpful and generous,” he says. Donors who spend a lot of time and energy helping others end up wasting that time and energy, and are burned or exploited by people who want to take advantage of their generosity. “The good kids are the apocalypse.”
This will be disappointing news for good-hearted people among us. But as the ads say, wait, there are more things.
“When you look at the most successful people, the big surprise is that they are generous again,” Grant said. The highest productivity, the highest sales revenue, even the best grades in medical school belong to useful and generous people. “So good kids end first.”
It makes sense: Forgiveness promotes moving forward, allowing a person or organization to progress toward a final goal, product, or service, or destination, which leads to greater productivity for a team. Recipients and adapters do not produce the same results. It can be argued that the receivers are very constructive, but only in matters concerning themselves. But by definition, “receivers” remove a resource from an area and keep it to themselves. Recipient’s profit, but nothing is produced. Matcher may give or take, or do both at the same time, but you cannot predict the outcome with them.
So you see how Grant, with his resume, his tendencies and his stature, can increase his reputation – and at the same time, a very good reputation.
This is where funny things happen. Last year, The New York Times ran a lengthy index of Grant and his research. The story described him as a constant and perhaps chronic helper of others: students with articles, projects and letters of recommendation. Government and corporate consulting clients; All strangers with different types. So the story goes, and … well, let Grant tell the rest.
Within a few weeks, I received about 4,000 emails from strangers asking for things. He laughs because he knows that his own effort to help and move it is an avalanche. “Saying no at the same time has become more of a problem and less of a problem. What’s more, the New York Times spread the word to everyone who reads that it seems like I like to help random strangers. So I have a lot more requests than before. It has obviously made things harder. But it was an easier part than when it happened and it forced me to be clear about my priorities. I said, “Look first at the family, second at the student, third at the college, fourth at the rest.”
Then he laughs again. “Although my default answer is still ‘yes.’
One of the first questions that comes to mind when reading Grant’s work is, “If donors are at the top and bottom of the ladder of success, what drives similar characters to very different destinies?” Grant says this goes back to the analysis – and awareness – of his habits.
“Unsuccessful benefactors cannot distinguish between being good and being useful. Many benefactors make the mistake of thinking that they should always be sincere and cordial and welcoming. This can be a recipe for becoming a door-to-door mat.” “Second, many benefactors lose their interests. They become devoted altruists. It may have worked for Mother Teresa, but many of us cannot keep it.”
We all know people like that, and it’s clear to see how those people can support successful Takers and Matchers as well as Givers. Grant offers a list when asked about donor habits at the top of the page.
“Don’t always help all people with all their requests,” he says selectively, and admits openly that this has been a problem for him in the past. “If we divide each of these categories by the people you help, you obviously want to be more cautious with the Takeers.”On the other hand, if you are dealing with a generous or fair person, it is safer to be more useful.”
“Successful donors are those who close windows in their programs to do their job,” says good time management. “So you say, ‘Look, I’ll spend time helping others, but I’ll not let my goals and ambitions be jeopardized.’ “He puts everything aside.”
Expertise. This is especially useful when you have the volume of requests that Grant makes. “Successful donors become experts in front of assistants.” Instead of asking any old questions, they are really focused and say, “I have one or two ways to help others that I am uniquely skilled at and enjoy, and when I help, I am energetic. “And to be efficient. Instead of being distracted and tired of the range of things that land on their plate.”
Strength – power. Helping others from a stable position will bring you better results. “Successful donors know about airline rules,” says Grant. Secure your oxygen mask before helping others. Some donors completely lose their goals and interests. I am not saying that as a benefactor you should be relentlessly selfish, but be more strategic. Integrate helping others with your dreams. “Like giving in ways that are in line with your organization’s goals, as opposed to just giving too much.”
The most interesting things about Grant, Give and Take are the stories of donors, recipients, and adapters. However, there is a story that did not turn it into the book he dreamed of. This crystallizes how donors – especially a collection of donors – can deliver transformative productivity.
“A few years ago, this little businessman [who uses math and data to assess market opportunities] applied for a job,” says Grant. He said he was looking for someone with a valuable personality. Nineteen people applied for the job. So he invites them all for an interview – all at once. So 19 people show up at his office and say, “What are we doing here?” “I’m looking for someone who is optimistic,” says the businessman. You are all looking for a job, so what I want you all to do is help each other find a job. “I will hire someone who is the best help to others to find a job.”
It makes sense – everyone knows different people and different opportunities. And everyone knows a job that is not suitable but may work for someone else. So they started helping each other. Grant says it was at that time that it became really interesting. “There was a woman in the group who eventually helped three or four people find jobs, so the businessman offered her the job. And he rejected it! “I just found my contact,” he said. He goes and becomes an employer. I thought this was a great example of what donors are doing successfully, saying, “I bring a group of people together, and if I can turn them all into benefactors, all together.” “We will help, and the situation of the whole group will be better.”
What about the rest so that we do not give all the essence to the givers? If you are a motivated donor, at some point (and maybe even today) you will have to work with one or more recipients. We all know some. How can donors make sure something constructive is achieved?
“This is a great question,” says Grant. If I want to rewrite the book, this is one of the things I spend most of my time on. There are ways to work with Takers. Here are his suggestions:
Analyze. “The value is to understand why this person acts like a recipient and how pervasive they are. There are people who are psychopaths or community-oriented, and this is a way of life. They are less likely to change than if you had someone be a little narcissistic and insecure, if you can see this person in different situations, what moments are there that are less selfish and generous? Can you understand their motivations and shape the situation to show another aspect of them? »
Find those stimuli. “No one wants to be seen as a recipient,” says Grant. “So if you can make their behavior or reputation [as a recipient] less visible, they feel that helping you helps them at the same time.”For example, if you can make a superficial identification so that they [seem] committed to the team or organization, then you blur the line between personal interest and participation.”
Try strategic orientation. Or, as Grant puts it, “put one receiver on top of another.” The trick is that your Taker must be loyal to you or the organization. “Recourse to the personal interest of the recipient is a perfectly logical place to start.”
When we consider the motives of others, as is the case with Grant’s research, we can see how some can use human tendencies in evil ways. For example, what happens when a recipient reads his book and decides to present himself as a giver of progress?
“When I was writing, I went back and forth,” says Grant. “I had moments when I thought, ‘If I teach the Takers to be better counterfeiters, is it good or bad?’ I came to the conclusion that it is both. Bad in the sense that there are some recipients who are smarter about their strategies. They may be destroyed by deceiving some people.
“But there is also a feeling that if you change their behavior, sometimes motivations are less important than actions. If Tuckers start helping people get what they want, I’m somehow turning them into Macher. I have no problem with that, there is evidence that it is easier to change people’s behavior first and then to see their attitudes and values align, you can get recipients to participate, and what often happens is that they have to choose Whoever they help and what kind of charity they want to do, at least sometimes, they realize, “God, that’s really meaningful.” “Let them communicate instead of just having all these transactions. There is a fraudulent element that could be spread here.”
Grant’s research is ongoing, and he has several ongoing projects designed to shed light on other areas of productivity versus productivity. “There is still a lot to discover,” he says. He raises them as a series of questions that need to be answered.
How can you eliminate recipients from your hiring process? “I work with a number of companies in this area,” he says. There is good evidence that a bad apple can ruin a barrel. But it is possible for a good egg to make a dozen. The negative impact of a recipient on your culture is usually greater than the positive impact of a donor. You put a recipient in your organization and this can lead to fear that the donors will refuse.
What is the strategy when you have recipients in your organization? Grant suspects the answer lies in another question: “How can you convince recipients to work more like Matchers or Givers?” “And if you cannot do that, what are the most successful strategies for dealing with a recipient?”
How can you increase your gift-giving behavior? To find out, Grant runs an experiment – and this is something we can all do. Ask each member of a group to give an introduction. Then ask the person who benefited to pay for it with two other introductions that benefit others. “Introducing is one of the most useful ways to present to other people,” says Grant, “and it’s the least risky when you think about the two or three minutes it takes to create an introductory email or a Facebook introduction.” And yet this is probably the least common way people help others. So we are working on tracking the type of payment chain forward. How many degrees of separation will be spread? “And best of all, what kind of stories will it create?”