Leadership Influence the Go-Giver Way

Leadership Influence the Go-Giver WayMost of us are familiar with the term, “go-getter,” someone who goes after what they want and makes things happen. But as someone who often writes about the critical importance of a “giving” approach in leadership and business, I fully connect with Bob Burg’s “go-giver” theory.

In Bob‘s book, “The Go-Giver,” he and Co-Author John David Mann espouse the theory that by shifting your focus from getting to giving, by putting others’ interests first, and by constantly and consistently adding value to others you will live a life of not just fulfillment but of great success.  There are “Five Laws of Stratospheric Success” that Bob reveals which bring this theory to life in business and leadership:

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 peoples’ interests first.

4. The Law of Authenticity: The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

5. The Law of Reciprocity: The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

I can’t tell you how essential I believe it is to truly mull over these five laws. When was the last time you thought about how much you give others in terms of value? How much value do you give your customers? Colleagues? Company? Children? Friends? Spouse? Have you thought about how well you serve these individuals? What about how abundantly you place these peoples’ interests first?

One thing that became crystal clear to me when I asked these questions of myself: Where I give and serve most abundantly without even a thought to my own interests and in accordance with these laws is where my true passion lies. This was an eye-opening revelation for me. Is the same true for you?

I would also venture to guess that it’s in these situations I’m most influential, as Law Three gets at. When I put others’ interests at the forefront I create a relationship based on respect, commitment, trust, and loyalty. I am showing I value these individuals enough to do this, and in return I receive the aforementioned respect, commitment, trust and loyalty and I earn influence. This is leadership.

Now, I believe it’s critically important not to lose sight of our own interests in the process as this would mean we’d be losing our selves. If none of our own interests are being met then we’re not really leading. But, if we are leading and creating from that place of true passion where we give more than we take and serve others well, won’t we be meeting our own interests at the same time we’re placing others first?

Please let me know what you think! Leave a comment and/or join me, Steve Woodruff and Bob Burg tomorrow night, March 13th for Leadership Chat on Twitter as we discuss, “Leadership Influence the Go-Giver Way!” It starts at 8pm Eastern Time and promises to be a thought-provoking global conversation! Don’t miss it.


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  1. Love this Lisa. I read “The Go Giver” two years ago and really appreciate this reminder. The follow up “Go-Givers Sell More” is an excellent read also. Great lessons in both books. The way Bob and John put the book together is fantastic. The five laws are essential to business success and happiness. Thanks for relating it to leadership. This is truly a great way to lead. Hope to be on the chat tomorrow night. Take CARE.

    Al Smith´s last blog post ..Let’s Go – Join the CARE-a-van!

    • Al,

      Though I had no doubt that Bob’s book had helped people tremendously, it’s great to hear a testimonial directly from a reader. Thanks for sharing your perspective on the book with the Community and I DO hope you’ll be able to join the chat tomorrow evening. All the best!

  2. I like it! I always say that through your blogging, you are sharing and teaching others through it.

    That’s the value that they worth and always come back to.

    It’s important to go get it as well, but go get it, and share what you got! :D

    You make a connection with someone else on what you give. Always.
    Samuel´s last blog post ..How To Write A Good Article!

    • Samuel, I love how you summed it up: “It’s important to go get it as well, but go get it and share what you got!” Well said and thank you for the kind comments!

  3. Lisa, thank you so much for your very kind and complimentary post about John David Mann’s and my book. I’m honored to be guest host on tomorrow’s #LeadershipChat.

    Addressing a terrific point you made in your post, absolutely, putting other people’s interests first should never be misconstrued with losing sight of your own (or, of being a martyr, a doormat, or self-sacrificial in any way). It’s simply that – as you implied – when you focus on intelligently providing value to others, that’s the best way to ensure your own needs are met.

    Samuel, totally agree with you. Not only is there nothing wrong with go-getting (being a go-getter) we’ll discuss on that chat that being a go-getter and a go-giver are not at all opposed. They work together. The opposite of a go-giver is something different, which we’ll look at during tomorrow night’s #LeadershipChat.

    Lisa, thank you again!!

    • Bob,

      It’s an honor to have you become part of the #LeadershipChat Community of Guest Hosts! Thank you for sharing your wisdom, experiences and insight with the entire Community of participants!

  4. A book that continues to be a great source of inspiration – thanks for sharing a reminder of the power behind the “Go-Giver” strategy
    Chris Westfall´s last blog post ..Can You Really Connect?

  5. Kendra Olvany says:


    I discovered your blog after being introduced to you this morning through the Kellogg Group discussion on LinkedIn. I was delighted to read your latest blog post, especially since I was just dicussing my philosophy of being a giver as opposed to go-getter with my husband yesterday. What a coincidence! I had never heard of “The Go-Giver”, but am certainly eager to read it now. Congrats on your success with your blog and your new book!

    • Kendra,

      I’m so honored that you found it, especially through Kellogg. And you must know…nothing is a coincidence! I hope you love the book and genuinely appreciate your very kind words. All the best to you!

  6. I enjoyed your article. My top of mind intention currently is to be observant of my motivation as I do my work. We are so conditioned to be “go-getters” that we lose our sense of purpose in the drive to “be” _____(fill in the blank). I’m starting to see and experience more and more that “being” goes into the “doing”. Be joyful and feel abundant and generous first, NOW. So, I am being grateful and intentional “Now” to enjoy what I do, GIVE my very best service and take pleasure in the moment now, not racing somewhere to “someday” be happy, abundant, etc, etc. This is a state of mind and states leads to actions. In other words, as I “in-joy” my work with an attitude to give, love and serve, I “get” meaning now. I also will likely develop the charisma and enthusiasm to prosper abundantly simply based on the principles of giving and receiving with an attitude of service and gratitude. This is an example of go-giver in action and something that I intend to continue to cultivate.

    • What an eloquent way to describe the integration between the two! Thank you for sharing your insights and perspectives here, Valencia – it means so much to me. All the best to you!

  7. Greg Hartle says:

    I was all set to significantly challenge this post until I got to the paragraph that started, “Now, I believe it’s critically important not to lose sight of our own interests in the process as this would mean we’d be losing our selves.”

    I remember reading Bob’s book a few years ago and thinking, that’s the way I want to work, but that’s certainly not the way the majority of corporate America works. In a working culture where the majority does not subscribe to these principles it’s important to remember that those around you have not awakened to this level of consciousness. If you don’t acknowledge this fact and also exhibit more of the “traditional” go-getter approach, you will find yourself failing to succeed in the workplace.

    However, through your go-giver example you’ll find many others will begin to awaken and behaviors will begin to change.

    Regardless, living by the principles will cause an internal peace that cannot be measured by external results. And, in the end, that’s what matters most.

    Thanks for sharing, Lisa.

    • Greg, you said it best when you said your example will lead to others beginning to awaken. The right people will appear in your life – I firmly believe this! And yes, that internal peace and connection is simply divine. Hope to see you again soon, my friend!

  8. Greg, a few points in response, if I may: There is no dichotomy between putting others’ interests first and maintaining one’s self interest. The two work together.

    Regarding what you said: “…but that’s certainly not the way the majority of corporate America works” and that “if you don’t acknowledge this fact…you will find yourself not succeeding in the workplace”

    First, there is no reason not to acknowledge it. We absolutely should acknowledge it. Being a Go-Giver should NEVER be interpreted as being naive, a doormat, self-sacrificial or in any way a martyr. While, as you say in your next sentence, “by setting this example, others will begin to awaken and behaviors will change.” Well, some will and others won’t. YOU will act as you act and attract the people who will add more value to your life and business, as well. Again, that doesn’t mean to not be aware of those who choose to conduct themselves in a different way.

    If I may, I must take issue with what I believe you are implying with your final paragraph, where you wrote, {“Regardless, living by the principles will cause an internal peace that cannot be measured by external results. And, in the end, that’s what matters most.”}

    While it is a well-intended sentiment, it seems to be implying that “if you conduct yourself according to The Go-Giver principles, you might not make a lot of money but you’ll have peace of mind.

    With all respect, Greg, the external results will indeed be there, as well. Being a Go-Giver (shifting from an” I-focus” to a focus of adding value to everyone and everything around you) is a very *profitable* (i.e., financially profitable) way to live.. Not only do I say this from personal experience (I mean, what is one person) but just read countless books by top leaders; this is how they built their organizations and their businesses. And, top salespeople, whose success is based on providing value to others. Look at companies that embody this philosophy, such as Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Yum! Brands, Inc., and others. Are there exceptions? Of course. But, by and large, this is how it works. Nothing new, nothing theoretical; the numerous examples speak for themselves.

    I have no idea why, but there is a tendency for people to define a Go-Giver in a way that is simply not accurate. Please don’t confuse being a Go-Giver with being weak, naive, etc. It has nothing to do with it, and none of the characters in the story certainly came across that way, I would hope.

    Thank you Greg,



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