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The Go-Getter: A Story That Tells You How to Be One Paperback – March 1, 2007

180 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although Kyne's tale of business smarts has been around for some time (it was first published by William Randolph Hearst in 1921), it doesn't feel dated. Indeed, lumber wholesaler Cappy Ricks's situation (he "had more troubles than a hen with ducklings") mirrors that of many business leaders today. It's a straightforward parable about a young war veteran who's handed an opportunity that will either make or break his career. If he accepts the job and pulls it off, he's a go-getter; if he fails, it's curtains. The kid's motto-"It shall be done"-sums up Kyne's point: even if you're unsure, say you can do it. Then figure out how to do it and make sure you succeed. Go above and beyond. The 82-year-old story gets some slight spiffing up by business book writer Axelrod (Everything I Know About Business I Learned from Monopoly), and the afterword is especially helpful in pinpointing Kyne's main ideas.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Peter B. Kyne was a prolific screenwriter and the author of the 1920 bestseller Kindred of the Dust. His stories of Cappy Ricks and the Ricks Lumber & Shipping Company were serialized in The Saturday Evening Post and Cosmopolitan magazine. He died in 1957.

Historian, Alan Axelrod is the author of the bestsellers Patton on Leadership and Elizabeth I, CEO. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
 
Arthur Morey has recorded countless audiobooks, including titles by such authors as M. Scott Peck, John Updike, Richard Russo, Anne Tyler, and John Irving. He attended Harvard and the University of Chicago and has taught performance and writing at Fordham, Northwestern, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Arthur has appeared in a host of off-Broadway and off-Loop productions. In 2009, he was awarded AudioFile magazine's Best Voice in Nonfiction & Culture award. His work has also garnered multiple AudioFile Earphones awards, and he has been nominated for an Audie Award.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Cosimo Classics (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602061475
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602061477
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Chief Exec on December 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This one needs to be added to every young business person's essential reading list. Though written in the 1920's, it does not feel dated, and its lessons and examples are still applicable today.

The young character in the book, Bill Peck, has just returned from the war and is determined to get a job with the leading lumber company. He displays confidence, and that's the first lesson in the book. He refuses to take no for an answer when rejected by two of the top executives of the company. He takes his case directly to the founder of the company, who is impressed by his determination. Bill's confidence is demonstrated by the fact that he had his business cards printed before he had even spoken to the company.

The second lesson is execution. Bill doesn't just throw out empty promises, but promptly delivers when turned loose in the field. It does not matter that he has been given an inferior, difficult to sell product. He finds a way to make it irresitible to his customers.

Finally, the company's founder decides to give Bill the final test, asking him to "deliver the blue vase." Bill shows his resourcefulness and refusal to quit in fulfilling this quest.

Though you can knock this book out in just one sitting, its lessons will stay with you throughout your career.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Larry Hehn on September 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The Blue Star Navigation Company has a problem. It hasn't been able to find a manager who will stick to his mandate once he is sent overseas and away from immediate supervision. The company needs a "go-getter", but how will it find one?

Along comes Bill Peck, a war veteran who will not take "no" for an answer. He asks for a job, any job. The company relents and gives him a sales job, selling lumber that nobody in their right mind would want. He proves himself worthy by excelling in his sales position despite the odds. He is now ready for the ultimate test.

From this point on, he encounters obstacle upon obstacle. As you read this story, consider at which stage you would give up. The Go-Getter displays just how much one person may accomplish if they decide to go beyond their usual point of giving up.

Do you ever catch yourself saying, "I tried but...", "If only I had more time/money/resources...", "I'm just not good at..."? Read this little treasure and you will discover that in all likelihood you are selling yourself short. You'd be amazed at what you can do, by simply deciding it shall be done.

Larry Hehn, author of Get the Prize: Nine Keys for a Life of Victory
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I give this book a '10' because it is short, in a story format, and has surpassed the test of time. Many "motivational" books are long; too long for someone who is busy and needs information to the point. I read this book in an hour and really felt like I was involved with the main character.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This used to be mandatory reading for ServiceMaster employees in the 1970s, and I got my copy from a retiring SM manager in the mid-1980s as he was cleaning out his office. This was the time when Tom Peters, fresh off his "Excellence" writings, was descending into his "break all the rules" type of exhuberant speechifying, and before "business process reengineering" hit the scene with Dr. Hammer, in suit and horn-rims from MIT. The Go Getter, by contrast, portrays a simpler, more direct world of business. You want the job? Pass this test.
You only have one arm because the other one was blown off in WWI? Pass the test. No ADA type accomodating here, no "norming" of the test. And the guy does it. He goes on the wild goose-chase treasure hunt and locates the object defined as his goal: the blue vase. All to prove he's fit to represent his new employer in Shanghai.
After hearing about business in China from a Chinese guy who shared our house in grad school, this seems like a good way to qualify for managing things over there. You want some guy spouting off about "seeing the future first" and making up slide shows? Or the relentless one-armed veteran who will stop at nothing to get the job done? If the job is all about moving lumber down rivers to be stacked and processed, doesn't sound too theoretical to me.
So I like this book, and for several years forced summer law student clerks of our firm to read it, to disabuse them of the notion that practicing law is some lazy, sit around and blow air all day type of undertaking. Don't clients want lawyers who are go getters? ServiceMaster did.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book was given to me by the President of a Lumber Company I once worked for. It is what I've patterned my sales technics after... Always going the extra mile. In short... Service above all. I recommend it not only to all sales people, but to anybody who's job it is to service the public. Oh, by the way, the Lumber Company President?... He's my best customer!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Greg Rebuck on March 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It took me a few times to read the first chapter--I kept saying "huh?" (a weird opening) then finally got into it. Some of the best books start this way!
DON'T QUIT IN DISGRACE ACE, FACE THE VASE!
Greg "failing forward on my way to success" Rebuck
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