Doing Good

Are you a giver, matcher or taker?

July 1, 2016

Clients frequently say to me that one of the most important things to them is that their lawyers have passions outside the law – it makes them more interesting people to be with.

Whilst entrepreneurs of growing businesses are very focused on winning clients, developing teams, forming their product and service offering, some of the strongest businesses of today integrate ‘giving back’ and ‘doing good’ – giving them as much priority as their business strategy.

Adam Grant at Wharton Business School has written a book called ‘Give and Take or; why helping others drives our success’. He describes the business world as comprising of givers, takers and matchers. He goes on to describe story after story and study after study to show why givers are always more successful than any other category when it comes to business. How much more satisfying to be part of an organisation that has a giving culture.

I recommend the book. At the end of the first chapter, Grant writes:

‘By the time you finish reading this book, you may be reconsidering some of your fundamental assumptions about success. If you’re a self-sacrificing giver, you’ll find plenty of insights for ascending from the bottom to the top of the success ladder. If you endorse giver values but act like a matcher at work, you may be pleasantly surprised by the wealth of opportunities to express your values and find meaning in helping others without compromising your own success. Instead of aiming to succeed first and give back later, you might decide that giving first is a promising path to succeeding later. And if you currently lean toward taking, you may just be tempted to shift in the giver direction, seeking to master the skills of this growing breed of people who achieve success by contributing to others.

But if you do it only to succeed, it probably won’t work’.

The world is changing. Giving is the way to live. Giving is the way to success.

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