My favourite book of 2010


I love reading but I tend to spend a lot time skim reading when I know I should start at the beginning of a book and just keep going. Consequently, it often takes me longer to a read a book than it should do. A goal for 2011 will be to read a book a week. I might just then catch up with my backlog!

My favourite book of 2010

My favourite book of 2010 was a complete revelation.

It was an impulse buy at Paddington Station. In fact because the book and the follow up were being sold together with a slight discount, I bought both. I think I paid £9.99.

It was The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. The other book was Go-Givers Sell More.

It is written in the same style as Who Moved My Cheese, The One Minute Manager and the Monk Who Sold his Ferrari in that it is a parable.

As the title suggests it is about an ambitious young man called Joe who is driven to succeed. He is a Go-Getter in the truest sense. He feels though that his desire for success is not matched by the results. As a result he seeks guidance and help from a person called Pindar. Over the course of a week Pindar introduces Joe to a number of highly successful “Go-Givers” who show him the power of giving.

What then comes about is an education, wrapped up in some vivid examples, about the “Five Laws of Stratospheric Success”:

1. The Law of Value

Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value that 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.

4. The Law of Authenticity

The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

5. The Law of Receptivity

The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

Whether it was serendipity or not who knows but, at the time I read The Go-Giver, I was beginning the transition of reinventing myself.

These 5 Laws also resonated with a lot of what Seth Godin was saying in his book Linchpin (which I implored my brother not to read for fear he would start to fight back against the Lizard brain – if you need to know more about this then read Steve Pressfield’s book The War of Art).

Taking these two books together I found myself being pushed to make a decision that I should have made 20 years earlier and followed my passion of personal development, selling, business excellence (the first management book I bought was Thriving on Chaos and then I bought all of the late Sir John Harvey Jones’ books in quick succession) and leadership.

I have since had the very great fortune to talk to Bob Burg and am also a licensed Burg consultant and over the coming months I intend to start building The Go-Giver and the Endless Referrals material into my professional service practice.

But the thing about The Go-Giver is that it doesn’t just apply in business but for me the very simple lesson has been to try and always put other people’s intersts ahead of mine. How have I fared? I am not sure – I think of life’s journey as work in progress and not the finished article – and no doubt I have a long way to go before I can really consider myself a Go-Giver who lives and breathes the 5 Laws or any of the material espoused by Seth Godin in Linchpin (I keep asking myself am I doing Art) but I feel that I am better person for having read this book and I hope I have been able to pass on to others some of the wisdom that is wrapped up in its 130 pages.

In summary then the reasons why The Go-Giver is my favourite and most inspired read of 2010 are:

1. I read it in one go;

2. The 5 Laws hit home immediately;

3. It provided me with the motivation to push through and make a change in my career;

4. I have had the great pleasure to connect with Bob Burg;

5. It is has shaped my thinking of the internet;

6. It has given me the wisdom to keep working at my relationships;

7. It has opened up a treasure trove of gifts in the broadest sense.

It is probably too late for you to order a copy for Christmas but I would implore you to check out the book – I will happily send you a copy – because I strongly believe that its beguiling message could have a profound influence on you. As a lawyer (non-practising) I am not prone to hyperbole so trust me on this one: The Go-Giver is one of the best books ever written.

~ Thank you Bob Burg and John David Mann for bringing this book to world.