I’ve been a longtime fan (ok stalker) of Adam Grant. I was so excited to see he was one of the headliners this year. I have had the privilege of seeing him speak several times in the past but many others were just hearing his name and hearing him speak for the first time. Grant has had two New York Times bestselling books including Give and Take and his latest, Originals. He is currently the top rated professor at Wharton. At this year’s conference, Grant gave one of the opening keynotes and also held a morning breakout session. Here are some takeaways!

1. Be a strategic giver. In his first book Give and Take Grant explores how helping others drives our success. He talks about three giving styles which include givers, takers and matchers. Matchers are the most common style. These are people who seek an even balance of give and take. But as it turns out givers are overrepresented at both extremes as far as those with the greatest and the least success. The key is to give strategically so you don’t become burned out and are not a failed giver. You can do a test to determine your giving style at adamgrant.net.

2. Five Minute Favor. Grant urges people to give in a way that aligns with their values, interests and skills. Make sure giving has a high impact and a low cost (and give in a visible way). One of my favorite teachings of Grant is his Five Minute Favor. You should be willing to do a five minute favor for anyone that is not time consuming for you but has high value to the other person. Examples would include emailing an article of interest, making an introduction or writing a testimonial. Be willing to ask for help. Most giving is in reaction to a request for help. But most people never ask for help!

3. Seek out disagreeable givers. In Originals Grant explores how individuals champion new ideas and leaders fight groupthink. He discusses the importance of having disagreeable givers in the room to challenge the status quo. Agreeable people will not challenge things. Work on sincerity screening to weed out agreeable takers. Just because someone is nice to you does not mean they actually care about you. Be careful who you let on your team and into your life.

4. Repetition is key to getting your ideas heard. It takes 10-20 exposures to an idea for someone to appreciate it. Additionally, you must make the unfamiliar familiar. Add familiarity to your pitch. An example Grant gave: “Warby Parker is Netflix for eyewear.” Also make clear how your idea is going to help the team and the organization.

5. New reward systems. Make sure your company or organization does not just measure individual successes. Change your reward system to one that recognizes collaboration. Don’t be an organization that says you value collaboration if you continue to only recognize and reward employees individually.

And check out:

-Grant gave a TED talk this year (as well as a prior TEDx talk). Both can be viewed on his website.

-Grant is working on a new book with Sheryl Sandberg called Option B that focuses on building resilience and finding meaning in the face of adversity. Watch for its release soon!

-Grant works with Make a Wish Foundation and integrates this charitable work into his teachings with his students at Wharton. So far they have raised $325,000 through experiential learning activities!
Jennifer Lynn Robinson is a litigator turned entrepreneur following a life changing near death accident. She conducts speaking engagements and workshops for companies, non-profits, groups and conferences on topics surrounding networking and relationship-building. Jennifer also hosts a local weekly TV show called Main Line Connect. She lives outside Philadelphia, PA with her husband and three rescue dogs. @AreYouNetworked purposefulnetworking.com