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  • ALANA WEISS: Good morning.

  • My name is Alana Weiss, and today it is my pleasure to

  • welcome Adam Grant to the Leading at Google series.

  • Adam Grant is the youngest tenured professor and single

  • highest rated teacher at the Wharton School.

  • He is a former record setting advertising director, junior

  • Olympic springboard diver, and professional magician.

  • He has been honored as one of "Business Week's" favorite

  • professors and one of the world's top 40 business

  • professors under 40.

  • Adam is a regular contributor to Google's People &

  • Innovation lab, and he also has consulted with clients

  • ranging from the NFL to Goldman Sachs

  • to the United Nations.

  • He holds a Ph.D in organizational psychology from

  • the University of Michigan and a BA from Harvard University.

  • Today, Adam will share from his new book "Give and Take."

  • Please join me in welcoming Adam Grant.

  • [APPLAUSE]

  • ADAM GRANT: Good morning.

  • Thank you guys so much for having me.

  • I'm truly delighted to be here.

  • It's always an honor and a treat to speak to Googlers,

  • and also to see lots of friendly

  • faces in the audience.

  • And I'm going to try to turn all of those friendly faces in

  • a more negative direction in the next few minutes.

  • The place I want to start is I want to talk for maybe 35 or

  • 40 minutes or so.

  • We'll have lots of interactive discussion throughout, and

  • then hopefully open it up then for some questions and more

  • discussion.

  • But the place to begin, really, is to say that I'm

  • interested in success and what makes some people and

  • organizations incredibly productive and effective and

  • why other people, perhaps, are less so.

  • And at the end of the day, what I want to know is how can

  • every person in this room own a face that looks like this?

  • AUDIENCE: [LAUGHTER]

  • ADAM GRANT: And I know some of you are thinking right now,

  • well, I already own that face.

  • And the question is, well, how could you own it more often?

  • Or how could you spread it to the other people around you?

  • And as an organizational psychologist, when I started

  • doing research in this area about 10 years ago, I found

  • that there were three ways to get to this face--

  • hard work, talent, and luck.

  • If you want to be effective in any domain or any profession

  • or any field, you have to develop a strong work ethic,

  • you have to really be mastery or expertise oriented so that

  • you develop true skills, and, as Malcolm Gladwell told us in

  • "Outliers," you have to find yourself in the right place at

  • the right time.

  • And I think that's all true.

  • But for me, it was missing a really important part of

  • success in this connected world that we all live in--

  • our interactions with others.

  • Most of you work in teams.

  • Many of you have clients.

  • Some of you have more managers than you would like, perhaps.

  • And the question is, how does the way that you interact with

  • those people every day, shape the results that you achieve,

  • the promotions that you gain?

  • And ultimately, perhaps also the meaning in the happiness

  • that you obtain.

  • So when I was trying to get to the bottom of this, I came

  • across a really inspiring quote.

  • It was from Robert Benchley.

  • And Benchley said there are only two kinds of people in

  • the world--

  • those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and

  • those who don't.

  • And I thought that was a really profound way of

  • criticizing those of us in the psychology world who like to

  • oversimplify all of the richness and complexity of

  • human beings.

  • And I told myself that if I ever wrote a book I would

  • never dumb down all of the complexity of people into just

  • two categories.

  • Which is why today I am proud to announce to you that if you

  • want to capture everything important about interpersonal

  • interaction in organizations you need not two, but three

  • categories.

  • No, actually, in all seriousness, there's a good

  • amount of evidence across industries and across cultures

  • that there are three fundamental motives that

  • people bring to their interactions.

  • I call them reciprocity styles, basically trying to

  • capture the way that you approach your interactions

  • with other people into exchanging value.

  • On one end of the reciprocity spectrum we have the takers.

  • The people that we all love to hate who try to get as much as

  • possible from others and try to shirk having to contribute

  • back and often specialize in things like relentless self

  • promotion, hogging credit, and maybe stepping on a few people

  • on their way to the top.

  • Now, on the other end of the spectrum we have these very,

  • very strange characters that I call givers.

  • And for some odd reason, they actually enjoy helping others.

  • Not necessarily philanthropists or volunteers,

  • but rather the kinds of people who do a lot of knowledge

  • sharing, who are always introducing people and making

  • connections, who may step up to provide mentoring.

  • Now, very few of us fall purely in the

  • taker or giver category.

  • Most people, it turns out, if you look at the data, are what

  • I call matchers.

  • And a matcher is somebody who has tried to keep an even

  • balance of give and take.

  • Quid pro quo.

  • Tit for tat.

  • If I do you a favor, I expect you to do me one in return.

  • And that seems like a safe and reasonable way to live your

  • professional life.

  • But my question is, is it the best way to live your

  • professional life?

  • Is being a matcher, which most people choose to do, actually

  • the best path to success?

  • I'm going to try to shed some light on that today.

  • But before we do that, let's dive into the takers a little

  • bit and say, how would you recognize a taker even if you

  • didn't know that person?

  • So I prepared a little test, first of all, for you to

  • figure out if you yourself are a taker.

  • If you could take a moment and take the test, I'll tell you

  • whether you passed.

  • AUDIENCE: [CHUCKLING]

  • ADAM GRANT: Now, I hope this is the only thing I will say

  • today that is not based on data or evidence.

  • But I sincerely believe that the longer it takes you to

  • laugh, the worse your score is on the taker spectrum.

  • AUDIENCE: [LAUGHTER]

  • ADAM GRANT: Obviously, there are a couple different paths

  • to becoming a taker.

  • One is to be a narcissistic, to be insecure, to believe

  • that you have to be superior to others to be successful and

  • carry around this assumption that the world is zero sum.

  • A second path to becoming a taker, which I want to talk a

  • little bit about today, is having been taken advantage of

  • one too many times as a matcher or a giver, and

  • believing if I don't put myself first in this

  • dog-eat-dog competitive world, nobody will.

  • There's a third path to becoming a taker which I'm not

  • going to talk about today, it's called being a

  • psychopath.

  • AUDIENCE: [LAUGHTER]

  • ADAM GRANT: So all right.

  • How do you spot a taker?

  • How do you recognize one?

  • There's an actual study by Chatterjee and Hambrick

  • showing that you can tell whether a CEO is a taker just

  • by looking at that person's photograph in a company's

  • annual report.

  • Here are photos of two CEOs.

  • I would argue that one is a taker, one's a giver.

  • These guys both built very successful companies.

  • Both, interestingly, in the 1970s worked in the Nixon

  • administration, which I believe is where one learned

  • some of his taking habits.

  • AUDIENCE: [LAUGHTER]

  • ADAM GRANT: And the question is--

  • these photos were taken right from their annual reports--

  • can you tell which of the two of them is the taker just by

  • looking at their faces or their clothing?

  • Take a second to study them, and then I'm going to ask you

  • to weigh in with your votes, and then justify your bets.

  • [WHISTLING "JEOPARDY!" THEME]

  • So as of 2013, most Wharton undergrads don't recognize

  • that music.

  • AUDIENCE: [LAUGHTER]

  • ADAM GRANT: Which I find to be a great tragedy.

  • Like, is that "The Twilight Zone?" No.

  • All right, how many people think the guy on your