Book review: The Go-Giver

I just finished reading The Go-Giver by by Bob Burg and John David Mann.

It’s one of those fable-type books you either love or hate. Here’s the basic formula: a poor misguided shmo learns an important life lesson from a enlightened being masquerading as a humble little nobody (or a seagull).

Here are some other examples of this genre: (I’ve read them all.)

Golf in the Kingdom

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

The Alchemist

Golfing with God

Even though none of them are literary masterpieces, I have a real soft spot in my heart (some would say “brain”) for them.

I underline passages, and put quotes from them on index cards and prop them on my desk so I’ll remember them.  And I do tend to remember these books long after I’ve totally forgotten the plot of such”serious” fiction as Henry James’ The Golden Bowl, for example. (so much for all the $$ I spent in grad school.)

The plot of the The Go-Giver revolves around this go-getter business guy who thinks the way to get ahead is to aggressively out-scramble and out-maneuver his competition.  In the end he learns that in order to become truly, even stratospherically, successful, he has to become a “go-giver” instead of a “go-getter.”

Here are the things the protagonist learns:

Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.

Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.

The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

It’s a long “afternoon-in-the-hammock” kind of read.

It’s sweet.  I learned from it.  Put it on your list.

And enjoy the hammock!