The Go-Giver: A Little Story About A Powerful Business Idea | Bob Burg & John David Mann | 2007 | 133 pages
A friend and professional colleague I look up to put this magazine-sized book in my hands and told me to read it on the plane. It was indeed a quick read — I finished it in an hour — but one which stays with you long after (really long, I suspect). The book tells the story of Joe, a young sales guy obsessed with performance and quota, who rather mysteriously hooks up with this old guy Pindar, who proceeds to change his outlook on life and business over the course of a week’s worth of meetings with his former disciples. The meetings serve to frame the overwhelming message of the book, which is that service to others represents true success, not in that sappy, roll-your-eyes-right-now-as-you’re-reading-this way, but it is in service others that not only tangential personal goals (happiness) be found, but business goals (profits) can too. Pindar’s service refrain is trotted out as the ‘The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success,’ sampled here:
1. The Law of Value: your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than take in payment.
2. The Law of Compensation: your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
The book is a sort of like a glass of ice water after mowing the lawn on a hot day; if you feel you’ve been at the grindstone for a while, too narrowly focused on next quarter’s numbers or tomorrow’s presentation, this book wakes you up, refreshes you and gives you a bit more to go on than just the sum of your professional parts. I’d recommend it for anyone busy at work (which is all of you).