Cutting-Edge Leadership

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Giving and Taking: How to Get Ahead at Work

In his recent book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Guide to Success, psychologist Adam Grant discusses three types of workers: Givers, those who are committed to helping others, Takers, workers who try to get as much as possible from others and give little back, and Matchers, who give only to the extent that they get something in return. Who succeeds in the workplace? Read More

I believe hard work pays off.

I believe hard work pays off.

Minimizers and Maximizers

I think there are two types of matchers worth noting. There are minimizers - who take very little, and give very little. And, there are the maximizers - who are very generous, but also tend to take from others pretty freely. I've worked with both, and I think they're as influential as givers and takers in their approach.

Maybe it could correlate with introversion and extroversion.

As far as firing takers, I think that is a fine line that ought to be approached with caution. I don't think that a rubric can ever determine who belongs in an organization and who needs to be cut. It should only happen as a last resort. If somebody is a taker, they might also be hard working and rule following, in which case they wouldn't actually be harmful - just annoying. In this situation, tolerance is the best approach.

Of course, sometimes a person really does need to be cut, but I think caution and intuition are the best tools for making that kind of decision.

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Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D., is the Henry R. Kravis Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology at Claremont McKenna College.

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