Book review: The Go-Giver
Most of us might think gaining success is the result of trampling other people to get to the top, leaving our values at the door. In other words, to gain success we’d need to be a real “go-getter”, and to work longer, harder and faster (and maybe be a little dodgier) than everyone else.
But what if the secret to success was in giving? What if to make a good impact in the world we learnt some new laws of success? Imagine a world where we are all looking out for each other instead ourselves. Imagine a world where your true success came from really helping people get what they need or want the most?
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” Zig Ziglar
In the book the “Go-Giver” by Bob Burg and John David Mann, the main character Joe is an ambitious but frustrated young man struggling to succeed in the corporate world. He’s introduced to Pindar a business consultant who reverses his paradigm of how to gain success. Pindar introduces Joe to five people along the story who each teach Joe a Law of Stratospheric Success.
Some of these values:
#1. Law of Value: Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than what you receive in payment.
Now this sounded completely contradictory to me, because how could you give more than what you charged for? Bob Burg explains very simply that it’s a transaction between two parties where both are extremely happy. Here’s how I understand it now. Say you mow someone’s lawn for $30. The true value is now that person doesn’t have to spend time on the weekend mowing their lawn which is worth a lot more than $30 to them, so they will happily pay you. You also feel great that you’ve provided a valuable service to someone and improved his or her lives in a small way, as well as being paid for it. Price and value are two different things. So if applying the law, always give more in value than you ask for in a dollar amount.
#2. Law of Compensation: Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them
Your income is determined by how many lives you touch. While Law number one tells us to provide value. Law number two shows us how to get paid. That is by being of service to many. Let’s continue with the lawn-mowing theme. Your customer is extremely happy with the value you’ve provided them and they share with their neighbours about your service, who in turn talk to their neighbours. Pretty soon you have a whole street that you are now serving. Your earnings have gone up and now many people are satisfied.
#3. Law of Influence: Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.
When we move away from being focused on ourselves and what we want all the time and start focusing on helping others get what they want, only then can we get the success we’re after. What is a better way to build a relationship than to be genuinely invested in helping another person solve a problem without concern about being rewarded? We will attract what we give. With your lawn mowing business say you carried away the clippings and trimmed up the lawn edges for free. Would your service be something others would be happy to recommend to friends and family?
#4. Law of Authenticity: The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.
People can smell a fake person a mile off. We can only be authentic to others when we are authentic with ourselves first. This means not trying to be something that you’re not. If you’re not a tree arborist, then don’t pretend you are. People will find out soon enough when their trees are suffering at your touch. There are many lawn-mowing businesses out there. But there is only one lawn mowing business with you! You all provide the same service, but you are the unique factor in your business by being a genuinely helpful and giving person.
#5. Law of receptivity: The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.
Now all this “giving” may seem counterproductive to making a living. But you have to trust in this law. There is no giving without receiving. Just like there is no breathing out, without breathing in. There is always balance. Bob Burg warns though, being a go-giver should never be confused with being self-sacrificial, we have to learn to be open to receiving because this is how the laws work. When we give, we feel good. But if we deny a gift from a friend or help from someone, we are denying him or her that feeling. We do this because we think we’re being a nuisance or that someone else might benefit better. But really we are denying ourselves the ability to say thank you. When you’re given the safety briefing on a plane, you are told to “secure your own oxygen mask first before assisting others.” You must be able to receive oxygen first before helping another one else. When you receive graciously and gratefully you are really giving a gift back to the other person.
“It is literally true, that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” Napolean Hill
You can buy The Go-Giver book here. Have fun out there DoGooders!
Until next time..