Givers and Takers

In any organization or community there are givers, and there are takers.  You’ve probably come across these two types of people in your personal and professional life.

Recently I have had interactions with a couple people in which I walked away thinking, “This person adds value to my life;  they are a giver.” One interaction with was John McLaughlin.  He showed my wife and me the website he created using Jimdo (  After that he helped us get started and we created our personal website ,, and the Mexico ministry website; in turn, we have helped several others by passing on this great tip.  John is a giver and the ripples of his giving have spread to innumerable others.

A recent interaction with Abbey Reed showing us Google Analytics left me feeling the same way from this (not tech-geek) technologically savvy lady. Abbey is a giver.  Being a giver is not a matter of culture, race, nationality, gender or religion.  It is a matter of one’s character.

Let’s talk about TAKERS.  Do you sometimes wonder why you feel so drained after being with some people? TAKERS have also been described as toxic, VDP’s (Very Draining People) and Energy Vampires, because they actually drain energy from you. How do they do this?  Here is a list of characteristics that can help you spot a TAKER:

  • drain energy by always complaining
  • always  having dramas that need attending to 
  • insecure so they drain energy through various means of trying to get approval – bragging a lot, drawing attention to themselves
  • they are thinkers who are critical (We all need critical thinkers in our organizations, but these are very different from the thinker who is critical)
  • negative to be around-never can give them enough; they are never satisfied
  • they have ideas, but the kind that someone else should do; they rarely take initiative
  • rarely say thank you to leaders or others; they just expect the leader or organization to be giving to their needs
  • gossip uncontrollably about you or the organization
  • Takers are joy and dream killers.
Seven Ways to Become a Better GIVER:
  1. Look to give encouragement to someone each day.
  2. Practice saying “thank you” to your leaders and others who serve you in various ways (your husband or wife, your children, your boss, others in the office who work in administrative details, co-workers, etc.  The fact is there are people all around you at every level to which you can express your gratitude)
  3. Stop complaining and gossiping.
  4. Take responsibility to develop yourself: New habits, relationships, experiences/hobbies give you new life.  You can’t offer new life and energy to others if you are dead and drained.  Read; look for new ideas that you can adapt and bring into the organization.
  5. Listen to others.  Engage with them in their life and their issues.  Warning:  This does not come naturally, so you’ll have to be intentional about it.
  6. When giving critical feedback about ideas, don’t just shoot down the idea; come up with a better alternative; then, be willing to help implement the idea
  7. GIVERS are also takers:  they take responsibility for their own life and results instead of blaming others.
What characteristics of givers and takers would you add to this list?    Click here to Comment.

About Steve Morgan

I work in Global Leadership Development with my wife, Terry. We have been married for 36 years and have 4 grown children. I have a Masters in Global Leadership together through Azusa Pacific University. I generally write about 5 “L’s: Living Well, Loving Deeply, Learning Continuously, Leading Courageously, and Leaving a Legacy. I occasionally write about Laughing Loudly. Subscribe on the right side to receive an email whenever there is a new post. I invite you to leave your comments so we can dialogue on the various topics and learn from each other. If you are new to the site, you might start with looking at some of the top posts or doing a search on the right sidebar for one of the 5 “L’s” that interest you. Or you can view the blog archives for topics. Photo Credit:
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4 Responses to Givers and Takers

  1. Pingback: who are you? | maturitas cafe

  2. Pingback: Five Gifts You Don’t Want to Live Without | Leader Impact

  3. Brian Virtue says:

    loved the simplicity of using these categories to evaluate the heart – whether my own or others. These areas you list often are the symptoms of deeper things. This is a great list to help people self-reflect. I want to look for some ways to use this with my students and our faculty.

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