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The Go-Giver: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea Paperback – September 1, 2010

812 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This modern-day business parable, a quick read in the spirit of The Greatest Salesman in the World and The One Minute Manager, should do well with eager corporate-ladder climbers, who may at first be confused by its focus: on putting the other guy first-be it a colleague, competitor, customer, friend or family member. Told through the fictitious story of an ambitious young salesman named Joe, Burg and Mann communicate their points through the advice of an enigmatic (and highly likeable) mentor character known as Pindar. Rather than help Joe snag a fast sale, the consultant introduces him to series of "go-givers" who personify the "Five Laws of Stratospheric Success." Over the course of five days, a restaurateur, a CEO, a financial advisor, a real-estate broker and the mysterious "Connector" teach Joe about the laws of value, compensation, influence, authenticity and receptivity-concepts that make more immediate sense in this fictional context than they would in a formal business book. Burg (Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts Into Sales) and Mann (You Call the Shots) write with a simple, informal style that offers a working-person's interpretation of the old adage "give, and you shall receive."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Most people don't have the guts to buy this book, never mind the will to follow through and actually use it. But you do. And I'm certain that you'll be glad you did. Seth Godin, author of The Dip The Go-Giver is the best business parable since The Greatest Salesman in the World and The One Minute Manager. Pat Williams, author of Souls of Steel, and senior vice president, Orlando Magic The Go-Giver is one of those rare books that entertains with a great storyline while simultaneously delivering an uplifting, life-affirming message that we can apply immediately. Darren Richardson, author of Science of Mind Not since Who Moved My Cheese? have I enjoyed a parable as much as this. You owe it to yourself to read The Go-Giver and share its message with those who matter most to you. David Bach, author of The Automatic Millionaire

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books, Limited (UK); 8.2.2010 edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141049553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141049557
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (812 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

135 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
OK. You know what a go-getter is. Maybe you are one. What is a go-giver? This book is one of those business parables that presents its ideas in the guise of a story. Business stories usually have a protagonist who is in real trouble, meets a wildly successful but mysterious guru who will share the Secret of the Universe with our hero. The hero will at first reject the simplicity of the idea, but will try it out and find that the idea works. The guru will them reveal the rest of the mystery and the hero solves his problem, finds great success, and the story ends happily. Why they all have to be along these lines, I do not know and this one only differs in the details. I mean, it is a pleasant story, but it is fiction. For me, business principles are always more convincing when presented with actual business case studies and even then they tend to be qualified in their applicability.

In any case, this book has five key principles based on the notion that your success comes from working with other folks and rather than trying to and take from the world and get all you can while giving as little back as you can, the truth is just the opposite. You give as much as you can and you will get more back. Remember the story of casting your bread upon the water?

Here are the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success (which are restated at the back of the book):

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.
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67 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Bill Lampton, Ph.D. on December 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
When I received a copy of The Go-Giver, I set aside the last forty-five minutes of the day to start reading the book. Good plan, right?

However, my intent to quit reading at a reasonable hour and get to bed at my usual time disappeared. Within a few minutes, I knew that The Go-Giver had all the suspense of a top-line mystery novel. I couldn't stop until I had read the entire book.

Thanks to Bob Burg and John David Mann for this stimulating parable, filled with enriching thoughts. Everyone who reads this book will re-examine his or her approach to business and customers.That alone will be a "powerful business idea," as the subtitle says.

The Complete Communicator: Change Your Communication-change Your Life!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Energy Lady on January 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I admit it: I love a good story. But "good," to me, means more than entertaining. And it means more than presenting a good lesson, moral or otherwise. "Good," in my world, means that something needs to shift inside me. The story has to affect me in a way that rings true deep within.

And that's exactly what the "Go-Giver" does. I read it in a single sitting, as I see some of the other reviewers have, because it's impossible to put down. It's not because you want to know what's happening to the protagonist; it's because you feel something changing inside yourself and you want that change to keep happening.

Some of the other reviewers have pointed out that the basic premise of the book is to use your network of contacts to give rather than get, providing more value than customers expect. True enough. But that is only the tip of the iceberg of what the book delivers. It is a metaphysical romp that shows what happens when we let go of fear and control and find ourselves in a place we never expected to be with no immediate way out. It shows the Law of Attraction at work, and how our vibrations can and do raise not only when we're doing what we love, but when we stop designing and pushing and prodding life to be as we demand.

So, yes, the Go-Giver is a tale well-told. And it is will likely go down as a classic in the business field because its values make sense and are known to work. But further, it has a soul that makes it a book about the business of life, not just boardrooms.

My husband and I have already committed to using the 5 laws in 2008. But more, the book has made me more self-aware of when I am trying too hard to be strategic or large-and-in-charge.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Sean Woodruff on December 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
While I'm not usually a business parable kind of guy I found myself connecting with this one more than any I have read. In fact, it may be the FIRST one I have completed through to the end. Page-by-page I was touched by the story.

Books that cause a paradigm shift are far and few between but Burg and Mann have given the world just such a book. In a hectic, crazy, get it all done as fast as you can kind of world it delivers just the right message for solid, sustainable success. Not monetary success, although that may be the result, but human being success. The kind of success that has been written about in many other parables through history. This parable will take its place among the rest of them. Read it, experience it, practice it and touch the world in ways that are uncommon in all the craziness.
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