Switch and Shift’s Unofficial Manifesto

If you’ve spent any time around here, you’re bound to know my favorite business book of all time, which we affectionately refer to as “The unofficial manifesto of Switch and Shift:” Give and Take, by Adam Grant.

Yes, it’s that good.

So when I got an email from Adam announcing release of the paperback version… well, even if it weren’t one of the cleverest emails I’ve read in the past 3 years, I would have shared it anyway to support his message, that relentless giving is actually a much surer route to professional success than selfishness or even what he calls “matching,” or keeping a mental tally of who you owe and who owes you.

As I said, I would have shared it with you anyway. But reading his Ten Signs… it’s just too good not to lift and repurpose it for our community. (Remember, it’s only plagiarism (#6) if you don’t attribute who first said it ;).

Ten Signs That You Might Be a Taker by Adam Grant

10. You look significantly hotter in your LinkedIn profile than in any other photo of you.

9. When a child is asked to draw a picture of you, it sometimes resembles a snake or a weasel.

8. At family dinners, you secretly enjoy grabbing the last cookie.

7. You brag about your SAT score, and you’re not even in school anymore.

6. You’re planning to plagiarize this email to announce your own book.

5. Your Facebook wall is dominated by selfies of you with important people.

4. When your children ask you to read them a story, your first instinct is to ask, “What have you done for me lately?”

3. After reading The Giving Tree, you thought the tree got what it deserved.

2. You’re convinced that most people are takers.

1. You go around telling people you’re a giver.

By the way: I’m personally guilty of #10, which Jane and the girls call my “stud muffin” picture. That black and white of me that’s floating around on all my social profiles? The one that looks nothing like me? Hey, I was in the room when the shot was taken, so don’t hold it against me.

And #8? Come on, Adam! Everyone loves getting the last cookie. It’s called WINNING, not taking. Who are you trying to kid?


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Image credit: nexusplexus / 123RF Stock Photo

Editor’s Note: This article has been repurposed from Adam’s website, with permission.

Ted Coiné is a Forbes Top 10 Social Media Power Influencer and an Inc. Top 100 Leadership and Management Expert. This stance at the crossroads of social and leadership put him in a unique perspective to identify the demise of Industrial Age management and the birth of the Social Age. The result, after five years of trend watching, interviewing and intensive research, is his latest book, A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive, which he co-authored with Mark Babbitt. An inspirational speaker and popular blogger, Ted is a pioneer of the Human Side of Business (#humanbiz) movement. He is also a serial business founder and three-time CEO. When not speaking at conferences and corporate functions, Ted advises CEOs on how to become Truly Social Leaders, or “Blue Unicorns” as they put it in A World Gone Social, in order to bring their companies into the Social Age. Ted’s advice: “Change is only scary if it’s happening to you. Instead, bring the change your competitors dread. That is something only a Social Age business leader can accomplish.”

  • Very insightful and a great post to start my Sunday morning reading. I’m going to have to start analyzing people a little more, especially those who proclaim they are givers, not to mention observing my nephew’s drawings carefully for weasels and snakes, Ted.

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