The Go-Giver: a literature review

Topics: Law, If You Have to Ask, Laws of thermodynamics Pages: 6 (2071 words) Published: September 3, 2014

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John Mann
A review of literature

Management 6802

The world can sometimes be a selfish place. Increasingly, business students are taught that in order to “survive” in business they must be a go-getter. Most young professionals inherit the belief that a business operates only to earn a profit and that they must do what is necessary to be profitable. Unfortunately, many professionals live their entire lives believing these assumptions without considering that maybe the business world and the people who thrive in it are not as cruel and shallow as many presume.

The Go-Giver is a parable of a young business professional described as a “go-getter” who is struggling to find success in his work. Needing a big sale, the young professional seeks contact with a retired business executive, who decides to help the young professional gain the knowledge that will help him be more successful in the future. The mentor explains that in order to reach “stratospheric success,” the young professional have to unlearn everything he has been taught about being successful in business. The keys to success lie in the five laws of being a ‘Go-Giver’: the law of value, compensation, influence, authenticity, and receptivity. #1: The Law of Value

The first key to being successful is to give. The law of value states that “your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you receive in payment. (Burg, 29)” The law suggests that people should focus more on what they are giving rather than what they are receiving. If people focus on giving, then others will treat you as you treat them. . As a result, people will become loyal to your brand, not because of the product, but because of the personal interaction and value that you give to them.

This law is hard to imagine in todays ‘dog eat dog’ society. People often believe that everyone must fend for themselves and that do what is necessary to foster one’s own success. The author explains that focusing on selfishness and greed will lead you to find exactly that. However, if people focus on giving, sharing, and helping others then people will treat you the same way. The author describes this by saying, “ultimately the world treats you more or less the way you expect to be treated” (Burg, 16). Business professionals often forget the importance of valuing their customers or the people with whom we come in contact with every day. Giving fosters positive relationships with the people you interact with. Treat people the way you expect to be treated. Young professions must recognize that in order to reach stratospheric success, they must focus on what they are giving to the customer, rather than what they are getting. While the law of value determines your potential, the second law examines how much you will earn. #2: The Law of Compensation

Beyond providing value to the customer, you must also provide a memorable experience to your customers to keep them coming back. The law of compensation states that “Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them” (Burg, 45). It is often lamented that those who “do good” do not make as much as celebrities or athletes though this is simply a case of being compensated for a greater number of individuals being served.. While a teacher may have greater value than an entertainer, teachers often serve a limited number of people. Athletes, on the other hand, may “serve” hundreds of thousands if not millions of people through entertainment. As a result, in the United States we see movie stars and athletes that are compensated millions of dollars each year while educators such as teachers, professors, administrators and others see far less.

The law of compensation, while perhaps difficult to understand for some, should be easily agreeable through the context of the business world. At its core, the law of...


References: Burg, Bob & Mann, John D. (2007). The Go-Giver, A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
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