Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bob Burg Tells Why He Wrote The Go-Giver


Shortly after reading Bob Burg's new book--The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea, co-authored by John David Mann--I enjoyed the privilege of interviewing Bob. Many of you know Bob through his other books, such as the bestselling Endless Referrals and Winning Without Intimidation. Reading this interview will help you grasp the book's purpose.

Q: Why did you write The Go-Giver? Was there a special message you wanted to get across to ambitious people, one they weren't getting so compellingly elsewhere?

BURG: The purpose of the book was to shift a "consciousness premise" which says there is some kind of exclusivity between benefiting others and benefiting oneself. There isn't. And, the premise of this book is that shifting one's focus from getting to giving (meaning constantly and consistently adding value to people's lives) is not only a nice way to live life. . .but a very profitable way as well.

Q: You have established an enviable reputation in the nonfiction arena, so why did you select a fiction format this time around?

BURG: Thank you for your kind compliment. The reason we decided to make this a short "parable/fable" instead of the usual "how-to" is because it seemed as though his message was made to be communicated in the form of a really fun to read story. The cool part--I think--is the surprise ending. And I totally credit the great storytelling to John David Mann. He not only is a hugely successful entrepreneur but a genius as a writer. The fact that it's such a fun read means that people will be more likely to absorb the message and read the book a second and third time.

Q: In your work with many corporate leaders, do you find real life examples of the characters you portray in The Go-Giver?

BURG: All the time. And, it was such a great feeling when, as we were sending the unpublished manuscript out to some of the top authors and business leaders around for their feedback and critique, they continually commented with words such as, "Yes, this is how it's done" and "Thank you, Bob and John, for finally sharing what the successful people already know and others don't want to believe." It really served as a terrific form of validation. And, of course, John and I, in comparing our own experiences, have both witnessed these traits in the many successful people we've had the pleasure to know and work with.

Q. Do you expect The Go-Giver to have any impact on what business schools teach during the next decade?

BURG: Great question. Difficult to say. I believe that--to the degree this book is embraced, first by individuals and then small groups and organizations and then, hopefully, larger and larger organizations and business--this can cause a definite shift, first in understanding and then in action. Remember, though, the message in this book is not particularly new; the very successful people are already operating as Go-Givers; what we're looking to do is to bring this way of doing business to the masses. Will the business schools begin teaching this? I don't know; personally, I'd love to see it as required reading in business schools. Then again, I'd like to date Cindy Crawford and that hasn't happened yet.

Q: What would be the most desirable result you could achieve among readers of The Go-Giver?

BURG: Perhaps the most desirable for me in the short term is simply to know that it made a significant difference in someone's life. We're already hearing from people who say that immediately after reading it their attitude changed and that soon after, their success level began to change. I love that. I absolutely love that. Long term; hey, I've always been a big thinker, so doing my part to perhaps cause a shift in Universal Consciousness with regards to this aspect works for me.

To order the book, go to the Amazon page featuring The Go-Giver:

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