About a year ago, a good friend and colleauge Berry Zimmerman, founder of BizEnrich, introduced me to the book “The Go-Giver” by Bob Burg and John David Mann. “The Go-Giver” shares the story of a young man, Joe, driven toward success. He’s a hard worker and “go-getter.” Not until he begins giving to others does he really find the success in both business and life that he seeks. This concept is coined by the authors as “go-giving.”
We all feel to some extent that we give to others. We give money or time through our communities, churches, and businesses. We usually package these activities into our charitable or philantrhopic work, usually focused on the needy. We don’t typically think this way in our day-to-day relationships in business and life, yet these everyday relationships are more likely to be deeper and more rewarding.
As a business lawyer, I see the “go-giving” philosophy to be critical in all aspects of our business. When dealing with clients, we promote their successes and attempt to fill gaps in their open needs. When dealing with our colleagues who refer or complement our services, we refer back and promote their success where we see the opportunity. And with all others, we work professionally.
To become a true go-giver, in my opinion, requires two key steps. First, learn the art of questioning and listening. In doing so, you’ll learn about the other person — their wants, needs, and how you can help. You’ll find that you know people who can help them with unmet needs or wants and conribute to their success. These introductions reflect back on you as a giver. Second, you must truly want to give. Others can see through a contrived set of questions and recognize when the “giving” is really self-serving the “giver.”
I certainly don’t purport to be an expert – Mr. Burg and Mr. Mann are more versed in that area — but when you look at your successes in business, they come from relationships with others. The more value you can add to the relationship, the more often that person will think of you first when a need arises or making a referral. Relationships built on this giving will create long-term value and success for you and your business.