Doing well by doing good.

UnknownIt’s the hope of every enlightened business owner. To “do well by doing good.” To profit while in some small (or not-so-small) way, improving the lives of others. Some refer to it as “enlightened self-interest,” or putting others’ interest first in the hopes that they will eventually do the same for you.

At the Wharton School, organizational psychologist Adam Grant turns this principle inside out and takes it to astounding new heights. He documents his research in his new book, “Give and Take.” In this book, Grant argues that “the greatest untapped source of motivation is a sense of service to others; focusing on the contribution of our work to other peoples’ lives has the potential to make us more productive than thinking about helping ourselves.”

New York Times’ staff writer Susan Dominus interviewed Adam for this insightful piece.