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Climbing the Corporate Ladder: To Give or to Take?

Climbing the Corporate Ladder: To Give or to Take?

April 25, 2017

Philosophers sometimes categorizes sins and virtues. I once sat through a philosophy class where we analyzed some sins and virtues, and my classmates and I reached the same conclusion: the sinful take, the virtuous give. But as the class discussion went on, people wondered whether doing the taking is always that bad. Givers might get taken advantage of. Would it be better if people did some taking until they get to the top, and from there, with their money or influence, turn into a giver?


In a previous post, I mentioned Wharton professor and organizational psychologist Adam Grant. He gave another popular TED talk recently:


As mentioned in Grant’s talk, most people are both givers and takers. The people who mostly give end up on the extreme ends of the corporate ladder -- near the very top or the very bottom! This is very curious indeed.


I have a hypothesis for this phenomenon that I’ll leave to the very end of this blog, so you can take this time to come up with a hypothesis of your own without me swaying you.


And I have some questions for you that may be of help (is this blog an act of giving, in a way?).

First question: What does your disposition / human nature tell you to do?

Also: How will you face a taker?


Now, for my hypothesis. I believe the givers at the bottom busied themselves with a type of giving that crushed their dreams, because they allowed themselves to serve the dreams of others (which did not align with their own). As a result, their work was not as driven. The givers at the top allowed themselves to follow their dreams, which was their way of making impactful contributions to society. Do you think I am accurate?

Chase Robbins