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No, You Can’t Pick My Brain, But I’ll Talk to You Anyway, by Adam Grant

Stashed in: @ifindkarma, Awesome, Magic!, Give and Take, Personal Finance

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Adam Grant talks of the law of unexpected utility:

Here’s my story (magic trick style, with a full deck of playing cards) of what happened when a financial adviser named Peter Audet went to visit a client with no assets:

Call it the Law of Unexpected Utility. By definition, you cannot know when you meet someone today where that person will land tomorrow. If you make every decision by asking “What will I get in return?” you’ll miss out on these moments of serendipity.

I meet people because I like to. If something comes out of it, great! Even if nothing does, it is blessed to connect!! 

You have a good attitude, Milind. 

Adam Grant points out that we need to set boundaries.

Of course, we all need to set boundaries. Serial entrepreneur Adam Rifkin protects his time by doing 5-minute favors: micro-loans of his knowledge, skills, and connections that cost him little but can add a lot of benefit to others. 

Venture capitalist Brad Feld holds Random Day: every other month, he opens up a day in his calendar to meet with anyone for 20 minutes. That allows him to take about 80 meetings a year with strangers, which only costs six days of his time.

The point is not to get something. It’s to give something. Often, giving is a better path to success than taking. Even when it doesn't pay off directly, givers lead more meaningful lives than takers.

Adam Grant on using the right words:

So next time you get a brain-picking request, you might consider taking the conversation. And if you’re the one looking for guidance, there’s a better way to show respect than asking to pick someone’s brain. “Can I seek your advice? I’d value your insight because…”

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