Not since Who Moved My Cheese have I enjoyed a parable as much
as this. It is a beautiful book, one that will touch your soul and inspire
your heart. So says David Bach, in one of several dozen enthusiastic endorsements
that crowd the covers and inside pages of The Go-Giver, including quotes
from such figures as Covey, Gerber, Godin and Pilzer. And its not hyperbole:
this little story could very well be the twenty-first-century successor to The
Greatest Salesman in the World (1968) by Og Mandino and The Greatest
Networker in the World (1992) by John Milton Fogg.
The Go-Giver is the story of an ambitious young man, Joe, who lives the pressured life of an account manager at the Clason-Hill Trust Corporation. The harder and faster he works, the further away his goals appear. For a go-getter, it seemed like he was doing a lot of going but not a lot of getting.
On one particularly stressful day, Joe is desperate for something or someone who can help him get more clout and leverage. He decides to contact a business legend and influential figure referred to as The Chairman or Pindar. Surprisingly easy to reach, Pindar immediately invites Joe to his mansion and promises to share his Trade Secret, if Joe can agree to his conditions.
Over the next week, Pindar introduces Joe to a series of mystery teachers who help him rethink everything he always assumed about business. In the process, Joe learns the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success that guide his transformation from struggle and despair to hope and abundance. The core message is that in order to find business success and personal fulfillment, we need to shift our focus from getting to giving and put the other person first.
At first, Joe wonders, Isnt that a bit naïve? His mentor replies, Most people have this reaction. Then again, most people are nowhere near as successful as they wish they were.
Further down the journey, Pindar talks about the three universal reasons for working: Surviveto meet your basic living needs. Saveto go beyond your basic needs and expand your life. And serveto make a contribution to the world around you. Unfortunately, says Pindar, most people spend their entire lives focusing on the first. A smaller number focus on the second. But those rare few who are truly successfulnot just financially, but genuinely successful in all aspects of their liveskeep their focus squarely on the third.
First and foremost a good story to enjoy, The Go-Giver also invites the reader to let go of old beliefs and plant a few new ones. Through the art of story-telling, Bob Burg and John David Mann empower us to move from a Newtonian perspective of separation, competition and linear thought to a quantum reality of oneness, cooperation and intentionality.
My favorite one-liner in the book: Everybody can be successful because anybody can give.
Hardcover, 132 pages, $19.95; Portfolio, 2007