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Building Better Business Book Club 

Reading, sharing insights, getting recommendations, staying informed.

Book review – The GoGiver by Bob Burg and John David Mann

The GoGiver

Many books tell stories and many business books that tell us how to do certain things that are important for business. Few do both well. This book weaves a story, and it’s lessons into a compelling narrative that draws in the reader and encourages them to turn the page. 

Its main character, Joe is struggling, he has a quarter ending target to meet and realises that he fears that he will not complete it. He meets someone whom he considers highly successful and seeks to understand the basis of the success that he has seen. His mentor takes Joe under his wing, on the condition that each lesson is applied immediately.

Joe doesn’t believe that it’s possible. He initially struggles to apply the lessons. The situations arise for Joe; we (the readers), have a chance to reflect on how that might work for us too. 

Bob Burg and John David Mann in writing this book have created a description of some of the things that we instinctively know. Do we ever go deep enough with them? The lessons provide context, and I liked that. It was easy to understand Joe’s situation. More importantly, it was just as easy to see elements of what I was doing, or not doing, and learn from that clarity. It is easy to avoid the real lesson when a book is not well written. However, when you can give an honest answer to the question: “What do I need to do as a result of reading this book?” you know it is an important book, and this one did that for me.

The five “laws”.

The book, and the story which it uses as a vehicle to communicate, highlights five rules for stratospheric success.

  1. The Law of Value. Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment. 
  2. The Law of Compensation. Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
  3. The Law of Influence. Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.
  4. The Law of Authenticity. The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.
  5. The Law of Receptivity. The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

These five seemingly simple “laws” are essential for any business. They are just as crucial for life in general, and how we all live it.

Applying the laws.

I liked the characterisations and the stories of how Joe was trying to look ahead. Using this style reinforced the author’s message. We, as readers, are encouraged to think about what might be about to happen. In particular, the final law brings the other four together. Without being open to opportunity, none of the others can create a change that would be sustainable.

In the book, the Authors say “Go looking for conflict, and you’ll find it. Go looking for people to take advantage of you, and they generally will. See the world as a dog-eat-dog place, and you’ll always find a bigger dog looking at you as if you’re his next meal. Go looking for the best in people, and you’ll be amazed at how much talent, ingenuity, empathy, and goodwill you’ll find. Ultimately, the world treats you more or less the way you expect to be treated.” I think that is an accurate summary of what the book has to say. Each of us, of course, can change our expectations, and that is the power of the book.

At 127 pages, this is not a long book. You could read it in an evening if you wish. I would recommend following Joe’s journey and reading one of the ‘Laws’ on each weekday. As Joe did, use the principles you learn, in turn to your business and your life, and see what happens. It has reminded me that the world is abundant. For all of us, there is an opportunity, but we need to be willing to accept them. The book will make you think and is packed with good advice.

I have no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone running a business.

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