The Go-Giver: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea
, by Bob Burg and John David Mann, Portfolio, 112 pages, $19.95, Hardcover, December 2007, ISBN 9781591842002
Bob Burg and John David Mann have written an interesting parable around the life of "Joe," a highly ambitious guy who comes to a dead end when he can't create the two things he needs to succeed: clout and leverage. In his pursuit of obtaining these things, he meets "Pindar," a smart, kind, and extremely wealthy man who seems to have everything Joe wants. After meeting with Pindar, Joe realizes that he's on a much bigger quest than he anticipated, and learns through Pindar and his associates that the most optimal way to receive is to give. By learning and practicing Pindar's "Five Laws," Joe obtains not only clout and leverage, but a life fulfilled far beyond the old goals he used to have.
The process is much more complicated than he expected though. In fact, a constant shift in perspective, a breaking of usual habits, and an adoption of seemingly illogical business practices had to take place. In his meetings with Pindar and associates, Joe examines such things as why people crowd into restaurants with good food while tables sit empty at places with excellent food; he sees meeting rooms with executives using finger paints as part of their creative process; and he learns about creating a huge network of influence by placing other people's interests first.
Each lesson is themed with the idea that the more you put other people first, and the more you provide for them, the more you'll be able to receive. The book states, "Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment." In business, it is typical to focus on what we are going to get and how we are going to get it. The Go-Giver
reminds us to focus on the important point of what we are going to give to people. As shown throughout the book, this focus turns business from a 50/50 proposition to a 100% success.