Give and Take by Adam Grant dispels the myth that only tough and aggressive people get ahead. Passion, hard work and talent are not enough it seems. To achieve the most success in life you need to live life as a giver, someone always willing to share and care.
Givers on sports teams can be undervalued since they don't hog the spotlight or use the flashiest of moves. Basketball coach Stu Inman found that there is a connection between grit and giving in sports. Givers were willing to work harder and longer than Takers out of a sense of responsibility to their team. In the long run, they are more valuable to the team.
Takers can be so self-focussed that they will take what they can and move on. They view it as necessary to getting ahead. Identifying a Taker can be difficult because they can come across as highly agreeable, enthusiastic and friendly.
Givers need to be careful they don't cross the line and become doormats because they feel the other person's need and want to help. That way lies burnout. Especially when dealing with a hardcore Taker, boundaries need to be established. Once Givers learn to spot these people as Takers they can adapt their role from Giver to Matcher. They are still Givers but they expect accountability and quid pro quo. In other words, I'll do something for you but you must do something for me, also. If they choose to remain as Givers, they do so with awareness and caution.
Grant analyzes his subject thoroughly and conveys his firm belief that the most successful people in many aspects of life are Givers. When he began to teach at Wharton School of Business, his students were unanimous in their opinion that Givers end up at the bottom of the success ladder. The top people were either Takers or Matchers. His book was a result of his determination to prove those students wrong.
Following through with his belief in the value of giving, Grant offers free on-line tools for individuals to test their Giver Quotient.
You could also consider subscribing to the Random Acts of Kindness philosophy.