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Are you a giver or a taker?

Behavioral psychologist Adam Grant on personality dynamics and how to hire a winning team

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Have you ever wondered how the most successful companies make their hires? Or what makes for a winning team? Have you ever wanted to know just what characteristics distinguish the most innovative entrepreneurs? Or what makes someone truly original?

In this episode of the Tony Robbins Podcast, we sit down with renowned organizational psychologist, Adam Grant to discuss personality dynamics, motivation and meaning, and what that all means for you and your business.

Adam has been Wharton’s top-rated professor for five straight years. He has been recognized as one of the world’s 25 most influential management thinkers and Fortune’s 40 under 40.

He is the author of two New York Times bestselling books translated into 35 languages, and has recently co-authored a new book with Sheryl Sandberg called Option B – about facing adversity, building resilience and finding joy. And he writes on work and psychology for the New York Times.

Adam’s TED talks on original thinkers and givers and takers have been viewed more than 8 million times. And his speaking and consulting clients include Facebook, Google, the NBA, Merck, Goldman Sachs, Pixar, the U.S. Army and Navy, and the World Economic Forum, where he has been honored as a Young Global Leader.

In this episode, host Ana Yoerg talks with Adam about just how businesses can get the most out of their employees, and how employees can get the most out of their jobs. They dig into the personality dynamics of givers and takers, innovators and original thinkers. And they discuss about why it’s so important to not just meet customer expectations, but to always exceed them.


[00:58] Ana introduces the episode
[02:10] Welcome Adam
[02:20] “Going above and beyond the call of duty” at Wharton
[03:00] Office hours with his students
[03:50] Asking what you can do for other people
[04:50] Givers and takers within organizations
[05:20] There is no correlation between being agreeable and being generous
[05:40] Giving and taking is all about your inner motives
[05:55] Agreeableness
[06:10] The benefits of the disagreeable givers
[06:30] The fakers: the agreeable takers
[07:00] Patterns to look for to identify givers and takers
[07:15] Why bosses are not good references to decipher character
[08:00] “Tell me what caused your success and your failures”
[08:30] A key question to spot an agreeable taker
[11:00] Assumption of others’ behavior is a reflection of your own behavior
[11:45] “Takers rise quickly, but fall quickly at the hands of matchers”
[12:35] I’ll do something for you if you do something for me
[13:15] True matchers want to punish the takers
[13:40] Why most matchers engage in gossip
[14:20] Working well with takers
[16:15] Confronting takers head on
[17:30] Make a reputation visible, then give them a chance to earn a new one
[18:40] Takers are predictable
[19:00] Relationships and reputations drive the economy
[19:35] The challenges for business owners when it comes to givers and takers
[20:50] The trouble with only valuing and rewarding individual achievements
[21:05] The Corning case study
[22:30] Drive your own results and elevate the work of others to build a winning team
[24:15] Add more value than anyone else to get raving fans
[25:00] What is motivating customers more than ever?
[26:00] Most consumers are matchers
[26:45] Consumers are constantly wondering how they can trust a company
[27:00] The importance of competence, benevolence and character
[28:20] Trust is easier to destroy than it is to rebuild
[29:30] One of the best indicators of how you treat your customers is how you treat your employees
[31:45] Why it works against you to only hire “A Players”
[33:00] Hiring for culture fit works well for startups, but not as well for established businesses
[34:15] Don’t map your culture, hire those who could enrich and enhance it
[35:00] Where to learn more about Adam Grant
[35:45] What’s next for Adam



Are you a leader at work – True leadership can come from anywhere, because it’s not about your job title, it’s about the commitment to creating positive change in yourself and in others.

Who can you trust – You need a team to help carry the business and to help it grow, so here are the key lessons on how you can anticipate and avoid betrayal in the workplace.

Are you a business owner – or operator – Learn what your managerial style is and what role you play in your business so that you can lower stress and increase success.


Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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