A Bit of Give

9th May 2013; 13:00

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RSA Thursday

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As much as we may dislike it, it does often seem like a ‘me first!’ attitude is the best way to succeed. But is there another way?

We all know that highly successful people have three things in common: hard work, talent, and luck. But what of the way they approach their interactions and collaborations with other people? Groundbreaking studies show that in professional interactions, it turns out that most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers attempt to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade fairly, givers are the rare group of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.

Adam Grant, Wharton’s youngest tenured professor and top-rated teacher, was recently profiled in a New York Times magazine cover story, “Is giving the secret to getting ahead?” He visits the RSA to share his insights, and to explain how his visionary approach to success has the power to transform not just individuals and groups, but entire organizations and communities. Grant explain how these styles of give and take influence individual and group success, and shows how we could have anticipated Enron’s demise four years before the company collapsed—without ever looking at a single number.

Chair: Mark Williamson, director of Action for Happiness


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