Saturday, May 7, 2011

52 Books in 52 Weeks -----Week 19 ----- The Go Giver

After a rather sobering (but incredibly fascinating) book last week for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge, I picked out an inspiring story called The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. 

The inside cover summarizes the book well:
The Go-Giver tells the story of an ambitious young man named Joe who yearns for success. Joe is a true go-getter, though sometimes he feels as if the harder and faster he works, the further away his goals seem to be.

And so one day, desperate to land a key sale at the end of a bad quarter, he seeks advice from the enigmatic Pindar, a legendary consultant referred to by his many devotees simply as the Chairman.
Over the next week, Pindar introduces Joe to a series of successful “go-givers”: a restaurateur, a CEO, a financial advisor, a real estate broker and “The Connector,” who brought them all together.

Pindar’s friends share with Joe the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success and teach him how to open himself up to the power of giving.

Joe learns that changing his focus from getting to giving—putting others’ interests first and continually adding value to their lives—ultimately leads to unexpected returns.

Imparted with wit and grace, The Go-Giver is a heartwarming and inspiring tale that brings new relevance to the old proverb “give and you shall receive."

The Go-Giver has its own website with a scrapbook of stories that illustrate how people applied the book's advice to their own life, and - in the process - have positively impacted the lives of many other people in their own family, community, workplace, and world.

At the beginning of the book, there's a section where Joe meets Pindar for the first time, and Pindar explains his core philosophy.  Pindar says, "Please don't misunderstand me.  There's nothing wrong with making money.  Lots of it, in fact.  It's just not a goal that will make you successful....You want to understand success, yes?"

Joe nodded. 

"All right.  I'm going to share my Trade Secret with you now."

Pindar leaned forward a bit and softly spoke one word.  "Giving."

There are several "laws" that Pindar shares with Joe that he must, in turn, act on in some way - either at his place of employment or with friends/family.  They are:

The Law of Value - Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

The Law of Compensation - Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.

The Law of Influence - Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first.

The Law of Authenticity - The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

The Law of Receptivity - The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

One of the chapters talked about the reasons for working.  According to Pindar there "...are three universal reasons for working.  Survive - to meet your basic living needs. Save - to go beyond your basic needs and expand your life. And serve  - to make a contribution to the world around you."

Another section of the book discussed a network:  "Now, by a network I don't necessarily mean your customers or clients.  I mean a network of people who know you, like you, and trust you.  They might never buy a thing from you, but they've always got you in the backs of their minds.  ..... They're people who are personally invested in seeing you succeed.  .... They're your army of personal walking ambassadors."

Since I am not employed outside the home, I began to question how relevant this story was to my life.  However, about midway through the book, there was a part that said, "These lessons don't apply only to business....A genuinely sound business principle will apply anywhere in your life....That's the true bottom line.  Not whether it simply improves your financial balance sheet, but whether it improves your life's balance sheet."

Another section of The Go-Giver shared an example of a woman who was in the real estate field.  She wasn't closing on many homes, and felt like she didn't have much to offer.  She said, "When I said that my life as a mom and household manager left me with nothing the marketplace wanted, I was wrong.  There was something else I'd learned over those years, and that was how to be a friend.  How to care.  How to make people feel good about themselves.  And that, my friends, is something the marketplace wants very much - always has, always will." 

A good thing to remember was this part of The Go-Giver:  "No matter what your training, no matter what your skills, no matter what area you're in, you are your most important commodity.  The most valuable gift you have to offer is you.  ...As long as you're trying to be someone have no possibility of truly reaching people.  The most valuable thing you have to give people is yourself."

Giving is Receiving

Ultimately, what the message and what all these lessons support is: "...The secret to gaining it, to having it, is to give, give, give.  The secret to getting is giving.  And the secret to giving is making yourself open to receiving."

The Go-Giver doesn't take very long to read (it's only 132 pages). It is a thought-provoking book in that it makes one consider how to be of better to be make a greater others (whether through one's time or through financial assistance).  I would definitely recommend this book. 

1 comment:

Bob Burg said...

Ann, thank you. What a great honor it is to see that you gave such a positive review of John David Mann's and my book. Thank you very much. So glad you found it to be of value!