How to Behave in Business — Give and Take

Do you have a favorite business book from 2013? 
We were taken with Adam Grant’s highly readable Give and Take. Being in a business that serves both for-profit and non-profit clients, LitLamp favors generosity as a way of doing business. In particular, being helpful. Connecting people, opening doors, offering ideas when people seem stuck. In fact, we’ve observed over the years a correlation between our success and our generosity that was validated by Grant’s book
Back in college, Patricia took a business history course with 500 other students. It was a gateway course designed to weed out lesser talents. The energy was cutthroat. But when Patricia joined a small study group of like-minded “givers” the notoriously rigorous professor took note and held the group up as an example of cooperation. Everyone in the group aced the course. It’s hard to say whether the group fared so well because they studied more. Or whether it was because they had more fun learning that way.
Give and Take has a lot to teach us about how to behave in business amidst a relationship era. An eco-system is forming anew. There are four kinds of relationships in an eco-system: symbiotic, predatory, competitive and parasitic. Grant’s book invites us to embrace symbiosis—mutual gain–as a way forward. His research bears out, seeking to be helpful to others is not a frill, it’s survival. Amen to that.