Give and Take has been a very interesting read. While I believe I am definitely on the far side of the Giver spectrum, I was uncomfortable with the villainous descriptions of the Takers. There are people who are self-serving, who will do anything to get to the top, who take all the credit and who believe that they are better than other people, but no one is arguing (except maybe those people) that is an effective way to do business. How many companies do we see fall into scandal while being led by a leader that fits this description? Also, I believe there is something to be said for the incredible and invincible self-confidence it takes to create a company and believe it will be industry changing. This type of genius and bullishness may not be appealing, but it is still incredible and impactful. This is reminiscent of the fine line between genius and insanity.
Overall, I found the analysis of the success of Givers in various situations interesting, but limited because it appears that every study proves his point, and when it doesn’t prove his point, he stretches the scope of perspective to the point where he is supported. I also felt there were too many case studies or scientific experiments mentioned. One or two per concept is sufficient rather than three. The book may have been more efficient to cut out 100 pages, however, perhaps this is a side-effect of being a Giver – you just want to credit everyone and give them their time to shine.
I did enjoy considering what type of person I am and the type of people I work with. I was able to better understand the behaviors of some of my co-workers with this added information. For example, it becomes evident how ineffective taking a Matcher approach can be in the workplace, maybe even less effective than the Taker in the long- and short-run.
I took the quiz on the Give and Take website to see if I am accurate in my assumption of how I fall within the spectrum (at least based on how I see myself!). It turns out that I am mostly on the giver side but I also have matcher and taker tendencies.