Ever since listening an IPPA call with researcher Adam Grant as he described how to build a social network as a giver, I have been reflecting on how I personally build social networks — or networks of any kind in my life.
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For those of you who are research geeks, I want to suggest a 1973 American Journal of Sociology article by Granovetter: The Strength of Weak Ties (Note: This article came to me from an initial weak tie that has built even though we have never met, my master teammate, Shuika) This article is some of the earliest research that contributed to Adam Grant’s thesis.
And then there is my take-away from Adam’s book: In business (and I will add, as in the rest of your life) you are either a giver (one who gives just to help others), a taker (one who helps you only if the benefit they get is equal to or greater than what they gave you) and matchers (one how gives to you only because you give the exact help back). Adam’s research supports that Givers are the biggest winners in the life success game — and also they can be the biggest losers. The key it seems, to my way of thinking, is whether you are a true giver or an emotionally unresolved doormat seeking approval (sorry to be so harsh). Adam’s more gentle finding is, givers who give, yet ignore their own responsibilities, will lose out in the end.
Adam’s book, Give and Take, is a wonderful resource of current examples and online content to support your growing into a successful giver.
Happy giving, happy growing, happy Andrea…