Thursday, August 6, 2015

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Adam Grant

(Here at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit praying for God to give me new insight to help me in leading with Operation Christmas Child)

Adam Grant -- Give and Take: A New Perspective on Leadership

I'm an organizational psychologist.  I get hired after people have been fired.  Look around the room, identify the most paranoid person here and point at them.

When I started studying success, it was about hard work and luck.  Peter Benchley "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." need three categories.

Three styles of interactions show up over and over:  Takers, Givers, Matchers

Takers--Think of every interaction as a way to get and avoid giving back; volunteer for visible, important projects and take all the credit

Givers--People who enjoy helping others and do it with no strings attached; come early and stay late to support the people around them.  Many reserve giving for family, friends, and trusted colleagues.

Matchers--Give and take quid pro quo.  Is matching the best way to live your life?  Maybe.

Think about your own style.  What is your default.

Narcissists are one kind of taker.  Another kind is more common:  someone who used to be a giver or a matcher and got burned.  A lot of takers believe it's the most logical choice.

Which style sinks to the bottom?  Data is clear:  In every category of career studied, the givers are the worst performers--they are so busy doing their colleagues' job they don't get their own done.  One of the blind spot we have is that many of us think we are givers when we are really takers.  You have to ask other people to get a good lead on your own style.

In groups, givers thrive, yet the data say they do it on their own expense.  They fail to secure their own oxygen masks before helping others.

If givers are the worst performers, who are the best performers?  Not the takers; they rise quickly and fall quickly.  They fall at the hand of matchers.  Matchers believe in a just world and they can become the karma police.  A matcher meets a taker, then goes to everyone else and tells them not to trust him.   If you're a taker, there's usually a matcher in the wings waiting to spread the truth about you.  And, the other takers will also blow the whistle on takers.

Matchers are not the best performers.  The best results actually belong to the givers again.  Givers are represented at both extremes.  Helping others can sink your career or accelerate it.  The good news is that givers often fail in the short run but succeed in the long run.  The time they spend solving other people's problems give them valuable experience.

In your world as leaders, how can you build a culture of giving.  Here's a list:

1.  Keep the wrong people off the bus.  A taker can ruin the culture.  Even one taker on a team can make paranoia spread.  If you weed out the takers the rest are more willing to become givers.  You can shift into the giving direction by getting rid of the takers.   Agreeableness or disagreeableness is your outer veneer but giving and taking is inward motivation.  Agreeable givers and disagreeable takers are easy to spot.  Disagreeable givers may be prickly and challenge things but still help everyone.  Agreeable takers are harder to discern.  Just because someone is nice to you doesn't mean they care about you.  Best way to spot a taker is to look forward.  Ask them, "In your world, what percent of people take at least the equivalent of $10 from their employer every month?"  People who think other people are thieves are more likely to be thieves themselves.  Takers anticipate more selfish behavior from others.

2.  Pay attention to what kind of giving people do -- "If you want to be a successful giver, do five minute favors--a micro loan of your time, skill, or connection." Adam ?Beckett?  Once you hit about 100 hours a year you hit a sweet spot.  Above that you are at risk of burn-out.  One of the best things you can do as a leader is ask for help.

3.  The Reciprocity Ring--ask each person to make a request and allow others to meet needs.  This is a powerful exercise to get people to ask.  The takers become more generous because offers of help are visible.  Best effects on the matchers who realize that if you're a giver you have more contacts when you yourself do need help.

Opposite of paranoia is pronoia (fearing people are saying nice things about them and helping them.)

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