"The less you say, the more influence you'll have."

So says Aunt Elle, eccentric mentor and perhaps the most memorable character in bestselling authors Bob Burg and John David Mann's latest release, It's Not About You. A third in the Go-Giver series, this compact, powerful read follows the precedent set by their first book, The Go-Giver. Written in the easy teaching style of a parable, the book's story unfolds once again in Pindar's town and, while it centers on a mostly new cast of characters, there are cameos and subtle references to the earlier book that Go-Giver fans will have fun detecting.

Reminiscent of Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, It's Not About You focuses on influence and leadership. It compares the general cubicle-job employee and manager's idea of leadership (manipulating and convincing people) to the true responsibilities of genuine leadership (making others' concerns a priority and maintaining strong character), while also demonstrating the long-term rewards of being a great leader.

Some books we love simply because of their entertaining plot or intriguing characters; It's Not About You not only includes these elements, it also imparts timely and timeless leadership lessons by taking the reader on a transformational journey. Over the course of one week, Ben, the main character, tries to convince a struggling company to agree to a merger with his firm. Instead, he finds himself undergoing a crash course in leadership, from a variety of characters and life circumstances, that leaves him in a very different place by week's end.

What makes the book so impactful is its way of storytelling that draws us in and lets us identify with Ben's journey on a personal level, making the lessons both easy to remember and readily applicable to situations in our own lives.

Ben keeps a journal about the tips he gains every day, summarizing Burg and Mann's main points at the end of every chapter. This ordinary-man point of view keeps the book from being a lecture, allowing us to learn the lessons along with Ben and take them in as if they had come from our own personal experience.

As the authors put it, "Leadership is not something you can put on and take off, like a set of clothes. Your capacity to influence is not something you can rehearse, like a speech in a play."

Darren Hardy, publisher of Success magazine, hails the book as "a manifesto for twenty-first-century leadership." Dr. Mollie Marti, coauthor of The 12 Critical Factors of Business Success, calls it "[a] powerful story that will stay with you long after you turn the last page." Both descriptions work, and that is precisely the book's strength: whether you are looking for a solid guide to leadership or a moving human story, It's Not About You offers both.

Hardcover, 144 pages, $23.95;
Portfolio, 2011.