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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 14, 2010
Best selling author Pat Lencioni's "Getting Naked" really resonated with me and will with many others. Again, Lencioni has nailed a very simple concept which eludes most of us when building relationships in business and, more importantly, in all aspects of life. While the book was targeted to the business of consulting, the principles outlined are universal and can be applied to many other aspects of living a "meaningful" life. Lencioni himself, at the end of the book, notes the model outlined in the book "applies to anyone whose success is tied to building loyal and sticky relationships with the people they serve"...just about all of us!

"Getting Naked" stems from Lencioni's personal experience in the world of consulting. He has applied the "Getting Naked model" unconsciously for years and has found his clients treating him more like a real partner and team member rather than as a vendor or outsider." As is usual, Lencioni shares the "Naked Service" model through a fable. In it, he outlines the need to:
1. Let go of the fear of losing (business)
2. Let go of the fear of being embarrassed
3. Let go of the fear of feeling inferior

And by shedding these fears, we can:
1. Always provide immediate value to those we serve rather than sell ourselves
2. Give away ourselves (the business) without holding back for something else first (fees)
3. Tell the "kind" truth and not sugar coat the obvious
4. Enter the danger, our zone of discomfort, rather than avoid it
5. Ask the dumb (the right) question that no one else ever asks
6. Make dumb suggestions that stimulates thinking rather than suggest the obvious
7. Celebrate our mistakes, our failures, as these are key learnings for growth
8. Take a bullet for a friend (our client) as taking responsibility and sacrificing is the greatest thing we can do for another.
9. Make everything about the client; focus on the "other"
10. Honor the "other's" work
11. Roll up our sleeves and do the dirty work
12. Admit we are human and have our own weaknesses and limitations

"Getting Naked" is a provocative read, challenging all to be introspective of all relationships, and providing a useful guide for living a good life.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Jim Collins wrote an insightful foreword to the latest edition of Peter Drucker's 608-page classic, Management Rev Ed. Collins said, "There are two ways to change the world: the pen (the use of ideas) and the sword (the use of power). Peter Drucker chose the pen, and thereby rewired the brains of thousands who carry the sword--and contributed as much to the triumph of the free world as any other individual."

Another world changer with a potent pen is Patrick Lencioni. He too rewires our brains and, fortunately, does it by telling stories that don't run 600 pages. This book is his latest gift to leaders and managers.

Caution! Lest you think this book doesn't relate to you, think again. In classic Lencioni story-telling style, this very, very humorous fable convicts, gives hope, challenges and offers memorable teachable moment stories. (Yes...I read the most poignant and funniest ones to my wife.)

So what's with the "naked" part? Lencioni explains (after telling the story), "At its core, naked service boils down to the ability of a service provider to be vulnerable--to embrace uncommon levels of humility, selflessness, and transparency for the good of a client."

He adds, "As obvious as that may sound, it is more difficult than it seems, because humility and selflessness and transparency often entail suffering. And suffering is not something most human beings, especially in our modern culture, understand or welcome."

So what's funny about that? Nothing. But read the book in a setting (you can do it in one sitting) where you can laugh out loud, because you will.

The main character is a consultant and the storyline delivers three unexpected side benefits. If you use consultants, you'll immediately raise the expectations bar and never again settle for someone who fails the core values test (vulnerability). If you are a consultant or even consult informally on the side or in other departments, you'll want to embrace the values. It's simple, but sacrificial. If you're a consultant wanna-be (and who isn't?) you could create your own apprentice program and see if you dare integrate these values into your current life in the trenches.

Each of the three fears (like "Fear of Feeling Inferior"--and who doesn't have that problem?) include powerful sub-points, like "Take a Bullet for the Client" and "Do the Dirty Work." I don't want to squander all of my Top-10 book picks for 2010 (it's only March), but, wow...this one has gotta be on my list.

As we know, the power of the pen delivers the power of story and the power of story enables life-long learners to get it quickly--and right between the eyes. Read this book and let Lencioni rewire your brain. Then maybe God will help you rewire your heart.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2010
I've read all of Patrick Lencioni's books and have generally enjoyed them. I also heard him speak once at a conference on team dysfunction and found his style and approach to be both engaging and entertaining. As such, I didn't hesitate to pick up this book when I saw it--despite its unconventional title.

Lencioni uses his usual style of writing: putting a concept into the form of a fable. Even though this approach is a bit different that other business titles I'm used to reading, it's unique and Lencioni is able to execute it well. The writing style and voice hit close to home for those that lead or manage others. While sometimes the fable approach can get a bit lengthy, I do find that it allows the author to do his job well. Most specifically, it enables him to draw important contrasts between the conventional (how most people do things) and his approach (a prescribed way of doing things).

The fable contrasts two different consulting firms that are in the process of merging. One firm is the large, international firm located in the city skyline. The other is a small boutique firm located in a re-purposed building where people dress casually and don't work late. It's a cliche disparity that we can all get our minds around. While we expect the big firm to come in and straighten up the little one, Lencioni teaches us some very important things along the way. Perception is not always reality as we learn that the larger firm might learn a thing or two from the smaller one.

Lencioni reminds us that bigger is not always better and that acquiring and retaining clients is not a matter of Power Point slides and glossy marketing materials as much is it is about relationships and authenticity. Getting Naked turns its focus to client relationships and service in a way that they should be teaching today's executives. The word "relationship" is certainly overdone in today's sales lexicon, but Lencioni gives it a new definition--the right definition. We learn, through the experiences of the characters, that client relationships are about a whole lot more than remembering each other's birthdays and talking sports. Client relationships are about truly understanding challenges, working through alternatives as partners, and even sacrificing the short term for the long run at times.

I would highly recommend this book if you work in or manage a professional services firm or are interested in overall career development. I believe that if we had more people in the executive world who looked at relationships in this way, more business engagements would have more success. Well done, Mr. Lencioni.

Matt Certo
WebSolvers, Inc
[..]
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2010
I read this book right before I had a 4th interview, which consisted of a presentation to the C-suite. WOW, this book really calmed my nerves. It put perspective on the fact that even though I am in an interview for a job with the company, it is still the same type of sales as consulting. I am there to solve a problem for them and then implement the solution. I remembered the 3 fears and then didn't worry about them.
My feedback after the presentation was filled with comments about how I didn't seem nervous, how I was focused on their solution and how much they appreciated all the suggestions I made (even though I thought some of them were out in left field). I know the book wasn't about interviewing, but I think it is a great read if you are in the interviewing process (or sales fields).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Lencioni has "done it again." Only this time he is telling an incredible story about his own business - the Table Group. I heard Lencioni speak at a conference back in November of 2010, and he admitted that it took him a long time to get around to listening to friends and colleagues who suggested that he really did need to write this book. However, he was reticent to "toot my own horn" and so this excellent book was put off for quite some time. But it is here now and is definitely worth the time to read.

Lencioni breaks the topic of building customer loyalty for those of us in the consulting/mentoring business into shedding the three fears. The first fear is losing the business, the second is being embarrassed and the third fear is of feeling inferior. Almost any entrepreneur can relate to these fears and I think that consultants, coaches, mentors and advisors even more so. Since Lencioni is telling the story of his own consulting business, this fable rings true to my experience as a consultant and business advisor.

The fear of losing the business comes mainly from having an attitude of scarcity. The advice, contrary to what you will hear from many folks is to "Consult, don't sell" and "Give away the business." I cannot tell you how many of my mentors have admonished me - "David, don't give away your expertise. You deserve to be paid." Thankfully, I accepted but ignored the part about "don't give it away." I still believe that I deserve to be paid - when I earn it! Lencioni agrees. He is consulting with the client even before there is a contract in place. He also advises that we "Tell the Kind Truth." We are admonished to "Enter the danger" meaning, don't be afraid to go where you are uncomfortable or "afraid" to go.

The fear of being embarrassed. Of course this comes from our need to "look good." That, however, will get us nowhere. Don't be afraid to "Ask dumb questions," "make dumb suggestions" and "celebrate your mistakes." It is always good to be slow to learn, to have an empty mind not focused already on your own canned solutions to things. By being willing to ask dumb questions we will learn a whole lot more not only about our client and their challenges but about our own rigid view of the world.

The fear of feeling inferior. This is closely related to the second fear but is really a deeper seated fear - it requires us to truly be humble as a person, not just take an intellectual risk. If this is done properly, you will be willing to "take a bullet for the client," make everything about the client," "Honor the client's work" and you will be willing to "do the dirty work" as required.

There is no doubt in my mind, at this point at least, that Lencioni's model is the only one that is truly client centric and the only one that will win in today's economy. Why would a client be willing to pay good money for a consultant, mentor, advisor or coach without first trusting that person(s) and having confidence in their competence? They won't, cash is too scarce to take chances and too many folks have had a bad experience with consultants who do not deliver or wind up costing the client excessive time and money. Lencioni has nailed this as far as I'm concerned and anyone in the mood to build long term loyal relationships would do well to pick up and read this excellent book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I'm not a business person, I'm a musician, but Getting Naked was lying on the counter and I didn't have anything to read one day, so I started reading. Being a business book virgin, I expected this book to keep me entertained for the 10 minutes it took me to eat breakfast, and remind me why I hated the business end of any project, but instead, I found that I couldn't put this book down.

It took me one evening to read the book and the reason that I found it so intriguing, was because it was written by a guy who could have been a musician. Lencioni is a right-brained, imaginative, let's-hold-hands and sing kumbyya together under a full moon kind of guy. In fact, I'm certain that if Jesus were around today, he'd work his business in this same way.

Lencioni just gets it. When you do things because it's your passion, you don't have to sell it to peopLe, they will find you. When you're living from your heart, you're fearless. When you live from your left brain, you're living from your ego which is unconnected from anything else, while your heart is connected to all of life.

The greatest lesson that this book taught me, was that even a business that is expected to be run from our left brain-logical side, can be run in combination with our hearts to stunning results. Maybe I'll have to read more business books if they're all written as insightfully as Getting Naked is.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2010
Another outstanding book by Patrick Lencioni.

As a consultant, I always recommend Patrick's books to my clients. Usually within the first month, I present them with copies of "Death by Meeting" and "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team".

My firm practices many of principles in this book, and will try harder to implement the rest.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2012
I bought "Getting Naked" as just another Lencioni business novel. I always find them easy to read and make you think, yet often they aren't wow-books that stick with you forever (though The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (J-B Lencioni Series) was perhaps an exception. Getting Naked however took me quite by surprise and I quite liked it.

Of course, the title of the book is odd and doesn't say very much. "Naked" in the title relates to open, honest and transparency. "Getting Naked" refers to running your company in such a way that you are totally open, honest and transparent with your clients. This honest (or vulnerability) can cause a level of trust that can lead to a very high customer loyalty.

As with Lencioni's other books, the book is structured around one story and then a clarification of the model that was used in the story. The story is about a manager called Jack who works in a management consultant firm who bought a smaller yet very successful firm. Jack goes in to the smaller firm to learn how they work so that he can integrate that firm back in the larger "mother" firm. However, as he figures out how the other firm works, he discovers that the cultural differences between the traditional larger firm and the "naked consulting" smaller firm are perhaps impossible to overcome. He ends up with an personal identity crisis as he tries to understand the difference in operating principles. Learning the new concepts and coping with the cultural differences leads him into an interesting position with... a surprising end (which I'll leave as a surprise).

The second part explains the model behind naked consulting which is based on overcoming the three fears: 1) the fear of losing business, 2) the fear of being embarrassed, and 3) the fear of feeling inferior. Each of these fears can be overcome by following the principles of "naked consulting" such as: "Telling the kind truth" or "entering danger." Each of these principles comes with some examples.

As mentioned, the book actually surprised me. It made concrete a few of consulting and coaching which I feel can be very powerful yet incredibly difficult. It also stressed the important of honesty in business rather than just profits and selling, which I also believe in strongly. All of this caused me to enjoy the book more than I actually expected. For this, I wanted to definitively give the book a 5 star review, yet, in the end, I chose only 4. Why? Because thinking it over, I felt the book is also lacking on two fronts. First, it doesn't really deeply clarify the system behavior and assumptions behind these principles, it doesn't go deep enough into the question of "why?". Second, these principles are great, but are incredibly hard to follow. The book, unfortunately, doesn't help very much with how you can adopt these principles but leaves that to the reader. For these reasons, I decided to stay with a 4 (but close to 5) star review. Recommended, especially for anyone who's work it is to offer a service to others.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Being vulnerable takes guts, especially in business. But the payoff, explains best-selling author Patrick Lencioni, is strong, honest client relationships that engender trust and allegiance. Lencioni puts forth his "naked service" model via a story about a fictitious consultant named Jack Bauer (not to be confused with the main character on the TV show "24"). Jack, an up-and-comer at a big consulting firm, is put in charge of the newly acquired Lighthouse Partners. He's initially reluctant to embrace Lighthouse's nonconformist tactics, but when he opens his mind to their possibilities, he has a life-changing experience. Through Jack, you learn about the three fears that block naked service and how to master them. Instead of writing a novel, Lencioni could just have outlined the naked service model in a dozen pages and, in fact, he does so at the end of the story. However, using a business fable as a vehicle is a simple, fun, engaging and relatable way to teach his concepts. getAbstract suggests this charming fable to anyone in a service industry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2011
This book helps bring a fresh authenticity to the business world! It will foster a new desire to "be real" and remind you that it's best practice to care for others like you want to be cared for. I would highly recommend reading this book as it will help improve your business success!
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