Become a Go-Giver, with Bob Burg

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Are you a Go-Giver, or a Go-Taker?

The term “Go-Giver” — which is also the title of the mega-bestselling book co-authored by Bob Burg and John David Mann — is a play on the term “go-getter.”

But as Bob told me during our Freedom Club Podcast interview, “We like people to be go-getters, if you define a “go-getter” as a person of action.”

But what’s the opposite of a go-giver?

A go-taker.

Hall of Fame Speaker

Bob is a sought-after speaker at sales and leadership conferences (he’s a National Speakers Association “Hall of Fame” Speaker), and is committed to inspiring the entrepreneurial spirit in us all. While his total book sales number well over a million copies, The Go-Giver has itself sold over 850,000 copies and has spurred an international movement.

In that book, and then their follow-up, The Go-Giver Leader, Bob and John challenged the conventional wisdom about success.

In their latest book, The Go-Giver Influencer: A Little Story about a Most Persuasive Idea, they tackle the paradox of achieving what you want by focusing on the other person’s interests: Not in a way that is self-sacrificial but rather in such a way that all parties benefit greatly. This results in both immediate and long-term success.

Collaboration vs. Compromise

On that latter note, Bob and I discussed the principle of collaboration.

In The Go-Giver Influencer, Bob and John write about Japanese baseball legend Sadaharu Oh. Oh always said that he considered the pitcher to be his partner in his home runs.

Not his adversary. His partner.

“Well, yeah, Bob, but the pitcher probably didn’t think of himself as being his (Oh’s) partner in hitting home runs,” joked Bob.

He added, “No, and what that says is: You don’t have to concern yourself with the other person having the same attitude as you have.”

Bob continued, “By operating as a go-giver, by operating and placing your focus on bringing value to them, you’re able to help them understand how to create that bigger pie — to collaborate instead of compromise.”

The False Portrayal of Prosperity

Bob and I also veered into a discussion about popular culture’s sometimes dark portrayal of businesspeople.

“The world falsely frames prosperity, abundance, money,” said Bob. “If you look at it, you know in terms of what the press has always reported on…the major themes of movies, you know, it’s always the nice person who is always portrayed as being poor, but happy.”

He continued, “The rich person is mean and nasty and horrible and has no soul. It’s unfortunate but that’s you know, that’s the story that that people get told.”

Bob said this is called the “treacherous dichotomy,” or the unnecessary use of the word, “or.”

“You know, would you rather be wealthy or happy?” he said. “Why is it an OR…how about yes?”

He said that there are bad people in the world, but in a true free market economy, people trade value for value.

“And when I say free market, I simply mean no one is forced to do business with anyone else.,” he explained. “Government’s not making a specific rule for you because you’ve bought the influence of someone in Congress who makes a law that keeps the competition out.”

“I’m talking about a free market,” he explained, where people are “going to buy from you
because they believe that they will be better off by doing so than by not doing so and in a free market, that’s the only reason why someone ever should buy from you.”

This is good, he explained, “because it means that in order to make a lot of money and place yourself in the position to be receptive, you’ve got to place your focus on bringing value to another human being.

“This is why we say that money is simply an echo of value right? It’s the thunder to value’s lightning.”

Check Your Premises

So how do we know if what the media, politicians, or our Facebook friends are saying is true?

“When you hear something, ask yourself, ‘why?’ said Bob. “Why is it true? Is it true? How do I know? How does the person who said it know it’s true? Where did they hear it from?”

He added, “When we start asking ourselves these questions, it causes us to think, it causes us to question and it causes us to go deeper … and we stop believing just what the talking heads of our favorite TV stations say.”

“You stop, you listen, and you say, well, why? Why is what they said true?” he said. “Checking your premises is a great exercise to help us all think.”

Helping us think, indeed.

Thanks to Bob for joining me on the Freedom Club Podcast. If you’d like to hear more of these great interviews first, please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.


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