Episode 041 – Nice Guys Finish Last…Or Do They?

We’ve all heard the expression “Nice guys finish last.” You’ve probably seen evidence that it’s true.  Today we explore this and more as we dig into “Give and Take” by Adam Grant.

(c) Adobe Stock

(c) Adobe Stock

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On This Episode

Rhythm of Life – Is It Better to Give Than Receive?
Tune-up Tip – Talk Yourself Slim
Feature Segment – Nice Guys Finish Last…Or Do They?

Rhythm of Life – Is It Better to Give Than Receive?

As I prepared for today’s feature segment, it got me thinking….is it really better to give than receive?  Like me, you’ve probably been taught this from a young age. I’ve believed it my entire life.

Think about this: If I want to give and no one receives what I have to give, have I really given?  And conversely, if I don’t want to accept what someone offers me, I am preventing them from exercising their gift of generosity and love.

Accepting a gift is not the same as taking. Accepting, is also about appreciating something someone offers.  Who are we to prevent the connection that comes from true heartfelt giving and receiving? Part of daring greatly is to receive with grace, just as we are meant to give with grace.

Search your heart and understand how you respond to kindness and generosity. Think about a time when you offered something to someone.  Perhaps they looked uncomfortable accepting it, or didn’t accept it at all.  How did that make you feel as the giver?  Or perhaps you were meant to be the receiver, and you acted in kind.  What impact did that have on the giver, and your connection to that person?

Now I believe it isn’t better to give than receive. It’s better to give than to take.

So give. And receive.  Join the dance of life that happens when we share a true connection of generosity and grace.

Tune-Up Tip – Talk Yourself Slim

Did you know you could talk yourself slim? Not by burning calories from talking so much, but with a new app called Talk-to-Track that purports to at least help you slim down.  How does it work? It is effectively an audio food diary that will calculate and store nutritional information as you dictate it.

It is a well-known fact that tracking food is an excellent help in losing weight. Not only what you eat, but also how much.  When you track, can see trends in what you eat and when.

But, like anything else, Talk-to-Track has its quirks, and should not be the end-all/be-all.

  • It doesn’t track sugar – as we discussed in Episode 033, the effects of sugar and managing how much you allow in your diet is so important to our overall well being.
  • It’s not always easy to know how much you ate of something, which results in a guess.
  • Not everything is in the database, so will need to manually input the first time.
  • Noted errors in the database require manual correction.
  • Misinterpretation of what is dictated which requires manual correction. Speak clearly.

Despite the shortcomings you may find in any tracking app, it’s still an easy and valuable method for tracking your diet.

Feature Segment – Nice Guys Finish Last…Or Do They?

You’ve heard the expression “Nice guys finish last.” You’ve probably seen evidence that it’s true.  But is it really true? That’s the primary question Adam Grant’s book Give and Take explores.

Grant says there are four things highly successful people have in common:

  1. Motivation (hard work)
  2. Ability (talent)
  3. Opportunity (luck)
  4. And the one many overlook – how we interact with other people.

We have a choice with each interaction whether we claim value or contribute value. Take or give.  And the choice we make has staggering consequences for success.

There are three types of people:

  1. TAKERS get more than they give. They put their own interests ahead of others’ needs. They self-promote, and help others strategically, when personal benefits outweigh costs.
  2. GIVERS give more than they get. They help others without expecting anything in return.
  3. MATCHERS preserve equal balance of giving and getting. They seek reciprocity; an even exchange of favors.

Grant states that there are pluses and minuses to all three styles. People aren’t always just one way, particularly at work, although we do tend to have a default style at work.

According to Grant, research shows that Givers land at the bottom of the success ladder. And at the top.  So nice guys finish last…and first. Why?  And how can you be one of the successful givers?

Grant’s book explores the power of giving, and how to give without being a pushover or doormat. It’s all in the strategies and choices.  Some view Givers as having a lack of ambition, when in truth they just go after it differently.  And because they are not focused on self, like a Taker, when they succeed, it spreads.  Others succeed too.

Some Givers lose because they are doormats. Still others lose in the beginning, but win over the long haul.  They take the time to build trust.  Once their reputation is built, success continues to grow.

Giving can be risky when surrounded by Takers. The key is to know how to be a strategic Giver.  Not someone who LOOKS like a Giver in order to gain competitive advantage.  But to practice natural inclination to give – yet do so in a strategic way, and by being aware and avoiding the pitfalls.  Or revert to a style of matching sprinkled with pure giving.  This will encourages giving.  Takers CAN change with encouragement.

If you see yourself as a Matcher or Taker and want to change, get this book.
If you are a Giver who is burned out, a doormat, or success has somehow eluded you, get this book.
If you have this down perfectly, get this book and give to someone who could use it.

Share with the group what your style is and out it has brought you success.

Read For Life Twitter Book Giveaway!

What will you win? — A Free copy of this week's book Give and Take.

How do you win?
1. Tweet about this episode using the Twitter share button.
2. Add the hashtag #readforlife
3. Add my Twitter Handle: @KThompsonSings
I will draw a winner from the tweets on the Monday after the episode publishes.