Posts Tagged 'go-giver'

The Law of Receptivity

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


What makes getting so difficult?

It should be an easy thing, accepting what someone gives us. Everything about it is simple: Person A passes something to Person B and both parties leave happy.

Why it such a problem for most of us?

In The Go-Giver, Pindar prompts Joe to remember the old adage “It is better to give than to receive,” then smashes it on the floor:

It’s not better to give than to receive. It’s insane to try to give and not receive.
Trying not to receive is not only foolish, it’s arrogant. When someone gives you a gift, what gives you the right to refuse it—to deny their right to give?
Receiving is the
natural result of giving.

Objects and actions are meaningless without transfer from one to another. Though a rose would smell just as sweet if it had any other name, it is only a blossom until handed to a lover. The transaction’s symbolism allows a person to display affection, whether laying them on a headstone or offering them to an angry wife.

That which comes back to us — tangible or intangible — is a reflection of the importance someone else places on what we do.

Generosity is returned without fail, it is merely a matter of the seeds we have sown and the mind of the receiver. This is the central truth we have been building towards all week, but the question remains:

Why is the “natural result” such a challenge to accept?

The issue is solved by considering the corollary to the first law, “The receiver makes the determination.” In other words, the worth of whatever we do is in the eye of the beholder. Sharing our gifts often means we’ll come across some that trash them, some who are indifferent and — Surprise! — some that feel they are forever indebted.

We feel guilty when showered with thanks because we underestimate our actions.

We place our own conception of our contributions into the minds of those who overwhelm us with their gratitude — people who, ironically, think they’re unable to match what they got from us.

Even though I have read through this section more than twenty times, I still thought “I could have done better” when my students brought tears to my eyes with parting gifts.

How many times has “I didn’t do anything to deserve this” come to mind when presented with a token of appreciation?

Ignore it.

Acknowledge what they see.

Be thankful they are grateful.

Take what they give — to do anything else is rude.

This is the fifth in a five-part series discussing the core principles of The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. If you’d like a preview of this wonderful book, download the first chapter here.

The Law of Authenticity

The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.


“Be yourself” is a bewildering piece of advice.

“Well,” we think, “that can’t possibly be enough. How could anyone like the real me?”

Therein lies the problem: staring in the mental mirror and picking out all the flaws. Focused on popularity instead of purpose, we lose track of what we have to offer. Who we are gets buried under an avalanche of “should do” and “supposed to be.”

It is impossible to build profitable relationships — financially or spiritually — hiding behind a façade.

In The Go-Giver, Debra Davenport runs through a list of techniques pushed on her by well-meaning colleagues:

Well, let’s see . . . There was the Assumptive Close, the Bonus Close, the Concession Close, the Distraction Close, the Emotion Close, the Future Close, the Golden Bridge Close, the Humor Close, the IQ Close, the Jersey City Close, the Kill Clause Close, the Leveraged Asset Close, the Money’s-Not-Everything Close, the Now-or-Never Close, the Ownership Close, the Puppy Dog Close, the Quality Close, the Reversal Close, the Standing-Room-Only Close, the Takeaway Close, the Underpriced-Value Close, the Vanity Close, the Window-of-Opportunity Close, the Xaviera Hollander Close, Ya-Ya Sisterhood Close and Zsa Zsa Gabor Close!

And, after doing her best to follow them to the letter, she is unable to make a single sale. She got lost in the shuffle of applying superficial answers to deep questions.

This is easy to extrapolate into other areas, too. Has anyone ever made a real friend with those generic conversation starters about jobs, hometowns and family we all use?

The precious metal is tough to get to, far within all of us.

Authenticity, then, is ultimately about valuing what is deep down.

When we stop trying to impress people, we become vastly more impressive. Every one of us ties ourselves most readily to those whom we can identify with, people who expose their vulnerabilities and reflect our own by doing so.

How is that possible if we’re putting on a show?

Plus, on some level, we all figure out quickly what’s true about someone and they do the same in the opposite direction. As it turns out, we’re right most of the time. (Don’t believe me? Read Blink by Malcom Gladwell.)

People know when you’re trying to be something you’re not.

Why try?

Stripping away the layers of others’ expectations (or what we think they are) and revealing our truth is the purest form of giving. We become like a musician performing an original composition, bringing a higher level of energy because who we really are is on display.

Playing our song — the one only we can write — casts the shadow of our very essence further into the world.

Others may wish to sing along.

Better yet, they may be inspired to make their own symphony.

At the very least, they’ll probably understand us.

This is why it’s best to be genuine.

This is the fourth in a five-part series discussing the core principles of The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. If you’d like a preview of this wonderful book, download the first chapter here.

The Law of Influence

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


We are selfish creatures.

We can’t help it.

Two thousand centuries of evolution have trained us to cooperate solely when we can benefit. The whole of human history is reliant upon this tendency to seek out a balanced exchange between “us” and “them.” It is why we formed tribes, built farms and eventually settled into towns.

Our lives are, in effect, ruled by a sort of social commerce.

We seek to receive proper payment for services rendered, whether in business or relationships. Though we don’t realize it, we’ve set up a system of scorekeeping tucked away in our collective subconscious built around the concept of fairness. Most of us do our best to make sure everybody wins, everywhere, every time.

In The Go-Giver, Sam Rosen explains how to counteract this mindset from his office at Liberty Life Insurance and Financial Services Company:

Watch out for the other guy. Watch out for his interests. Watch his back. Forget about fifty-fifty, son. Fifty-fifty’s a losing proposition. The only winning proposition is one hundred percent. Make your win about the other person, go after what he wants.

Life’s biggest winners give without a second thought.

Most of the time, this begins with a simple act: listening. If done correctly, we understand how we might help lighten another’s load. Lend a hand, share a resource — these are easy things that can have drastic effects in the lives we touch.

The incredible part of offering ourselves without hesitation is what it reminds us: we’re not alone.

Being considerate of another’s needs refreshes their memory of this truth. And, by offering support without concern for what we’re getting, the time will come when — since everyone innately wants to help those who help them — we will remember because someone else aids us.

To be open in this way — to share whatever possible — is to embrace the soul’s greatness.

As I’ve written before, “giving is living.”

Do for others and they will do for you.

This is the third in a five-part series discussing the core principles of The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. If you’d like a preview of this wonderful book, download the first chapter here.

The Law of Compensation

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


What anyone gets in life is “not just a question of their value. It’s a question of impact.”

The people who receive the most financially and spiritually find a way to touch as many lives as possible, simple as that. It could be argued worthiness is often made secondary in the early stages – for an individual or idea – if the publicity is broad enough. Of course, without a solid foundation, the enterprise folds like a house of cards. We have seen it time and again with movie stars, athletes and large corporations.

Most of us are uncomfortable with the attention created in becoming “known.” We wonder if the crown is too heavy for our heads. And, truth be told, most of us would tell a story like Nicole Martin, the CEO of Learning Systems for Children in The Go-Giver:

I was brought up with the belief that there are two types of people in the world. There are people who get rich, and there are people who do good. My belief system said you’re one or the other, you can’t be both.

In a sense, we’re afraid of what might happen – particularly who we might become – if our reach extended as far as our imagination. Ultimately, when it comes to giving, only one question is important:

How much good do you want to accomplish?

Picture for a moment you had a million dollars begging for a purpose. Would you donate it all to one charity or divide it amongst several worthy causes?

Personally, I’d come up with a list of organizations I’d like to support and rank them in tiers. The highest-level groups, like the chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition my aunt founded before she died, would get large chunks. As I moved along, I’d dole out smaller portions to others I’m less connected to.

Every little bit we give is important.

If we believe in our ability to contribute and put the force of our energy behind it, we’ve realized how crucial we are to this huge story – as everyone is, equally.

We  then shine our light as bright as possible.

Why not share it with all the people we can?

This is the second in a five-part series discussing the core principles of The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. If you’d like a preview of this wonderful book, download the first chapter here.

The Law of Value

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

Courtesy of

“Value” is a buzzword in our culture.

Over the years, the word has been twisted to fit the whims of pitchmen offering the latest gadget for “three easy payments.” Then, we’re told “Wait! There’s more!” to pull us closer in the hopes another toy of questionable use (An egg slicer…FREE!) will make buying even easier.

In going through The Go-Giver, we begin our examination of the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success by discussing the worth of…well, anything. As stated above, the aim is to give more than we take. How can we know if we do?

“The receiver makes the determination” might be added for clarity’s sake.

To put it another way, how much stuff you can pile into a box for $19.95 or the percentage off regular price is irrelevant. What matters is the imprint made on the individual’s memory. If they grumble every time the egg slicer slides to the front of the junk drawer, have we made a worthwhile impression?

As author Simon Sinek says, “Value is a feeling, not a calculation.” The “great deal” is merely a parlor trick if the recipient considers the package useless.

Giving more than expected goes beyond tangible objects, it is about the emotion created.

Ernesto Iafrate, the owner of a bustling cafe (and several restaurants, plus quite a bit of real estate) in The Go-Giver, explains it this way:

A bad restaurant tries to give just enough food and service, both in quantity and quality, to justify the money it takes from the customer. A good restaurant strives to give the, most quantity and quality for the money it takes.
But a
great restaurant — ahh, a great restaurant strives to defy imagination! Its goal is to provide a higher quality of food and service than any amount of money could possibly pay for.

This is something everyone intuitively understands.

A few years ago, I visited Las Vegas for a conference. After several days sitting through hours of speakers and walking The Strip alone, I decided on dinner at Carnevino, Mario Batali’s offering in The Palazzo. From the moment I pulled up to the table, I was taken care of. The waiter, Geoffrey, and his staff filled my orders quickly, pairing a glass of wine with every course of the meal and ensuring each one followed the other seamlessly.

Days away from opening a business I’d spent more than a year working on, I was tired and stressed and lonely. For the hour or so I spent in the restaurant, all that washed away. I got to rest and enjoy a smattering of good conversation. In a strange way, I’d been invited to step out of my preoccupied mind and rejoin the social network called “humanity.”

When the check came, it was twice what I’ve paid for dinner on any date I’ve ever been on—and wholly worth it.

What we bring to someone’s life is the best measure of our work.

Almost all, at least 99.999%, of the transactions in this world occur without money changing hands. To focus on legal tender is to bend our minds around something inherently fleeting. Cash is cyclical, flowing to and from everyone in a constant stream.

Kindness and consideration ripple outward.

Service is a pursuit with exponential growth potential in more ways than we can count.

Inevitably, it flows back, too.

This is the first in a five-part series discussing the core principles of The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. If you’d like a preview of this wonderful book, download the first chapter here.

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