The Go-Giver

The Go-Giver

by Bob Burg and John David Mann

“The Go-Giver” is a relatively short, but enjoyable read. The book is written as a fictional story, but a story with purpose. The method of writing brings to mind the Arbinger Institute’s classic “Leadership and Self-Deception.” The authors used a fictional story to illustrate the points they wanted to make.

And it was effective. The story immediately drew me in. It starts with a young man named Joe who is trying to meet his 3rd quarter sales deadline. While I have never worked in sales myself, the pressure of meeting deadlines was relatable to me and is probably relatable to most people. Joe is desperately trying to land a large contract so he can hit his 3rd quarter sales goal. In his desperation, he talks with an old salesman on his floor who has a connection with a consultant who has the clout that Joe needs to land the contract. To Joe’s surprise, when he calls he is invited to meet with the influential consultant the very next morning. And that’s where the fun begins.

Joe meets with the consultant, called Pindar, the next morning as scheduled. Pindar graciously welcomes Joe into his home and speaks with him. Pindar offers to tell Joe his “Trade Secret,” or the secret to “stratospheric” success. The secret to success is…giving. Too simple, right? Well, most people would say that, but then most people are not as successful as they would like to be.

For the next week, Pindar takes Joe on a journey where he meets the greatest businessman in his town and learns their secrets. In all, Joe and the reader learn five secrets (called laws in the book):

  1. The Law of Value: Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.
  2. The Law of Compensation: Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
  3. The Law of Influence: Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.
  4. The Law of Authenticity: The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.
  5. The Law of Receptivity: The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

I think Pindar will forgive me for publishing his Trade Secret online in this review, especially since he says that if he had his way, everyone would know the Trade Secret and the Five Laws. I won’t go into any more detail because the authors tell the story much better than I could. Overall, this book deserves a place on my shelf. The insights are delivered with a simplicity that is beautiful and relatable. This will be a book that I will reread on a regular basis. 

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