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The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  17,641 ratings  ·  1,700 reviews
A new edition with expanded content is available now, “The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea

An engaging book that brings new relevance to the old proverb “Give and you shall receive”

The Go-Giver tells the story of an ambitious young man named Joe who yearns for success. Joe is a true go-getter, though sometimes he feels as if the
Hardcover, 133 pages
Published December 27th 2007 by Portfolio (first published December 2007)
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Jason Ruggles You start at the beginning and read until you get to the middle. Then, give someone a high-five. You're halfway there! Then get back to the book. Keep…moreYou start at the beginning and read until you get to the middle. Then, give someone a high-five. You're halfway there! Then get back to the book. Keep reading until—and this is the important part—you get to the end. You did it! (less)

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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  17,641 ratings  ·  1,700 reviews

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Dena Lake
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-to-lead
A quick read--done in an hour--with some great points.

The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success

1. The Law of Value
a. Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than take in payment
2. The Law of Compensation
a. Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them
3. The Law of Influence
a. Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first
4. The Law of Authenticity
a. The most valuable gift you have to offer is you
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
“Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”
- Bob Burg & John Mann, The Go-Giver


So, full-disclosure. I hate self-help business books. I also exist in a world where these books get passed around, given as gifts, pitched, promoted, etc., so it is hard to not find a couple constantly sitting on my shelf DESPITE my best efforts.

This month I'm trying to read a book a day. Just to see if I can do it. Right now, however, I'm reading Chernow's Washington:
Feb 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
just finished reading what is now one of my all-time favorite books.

The title of the book is The Go-Giver, written by Bob Burg and John David Mann. This parable about a salesman named Joe, who wants to succeed in a big way, realizes that he is not doing as well as he wishes. In a moment of desperation, he asks a colleague for the name of a man who he thinks may help him.

When Joe meets with the man, nicknamed The Chairman, he is in for a big surprise. Over the course of a week, he learns a diffe
Jun 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: work, motivation
A book with great principles, not just about about business, but about life. Unfortunately, those principles are presented through some really bad dialogue. The book would have been more powerful had the authors researched real life stories of people who had applied these principles.
Monica Willyard Moen
If I had the money, I'd buy a copy of this book and send it to every person I know, wrapped in gold foil paper. This isn't just a business book. It applies whether you're a volunteer, in a romantic relationship, or with your coworkers.

I just used one idea in the book that helped me work through a conflict that has been around for three years and that I thought couldn't be resolved. I tried the idea as almost a last ditch effort and with little hope that it would work. I am surprised and very ha
Mar 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
Obviously this wasn't a book for entertainment but for education. The points made were good and in the realm of common sense. The people involved have a habit of believing that the world has the wrong idea about everything and these people have all the answers. The events that lead to success were all to fanciful. I feel it caters to the naive, someone who feels that they have been lied to and now found the way. It gives a light of hope to whomever wishes to believe that they have the wrong idea ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Business parable of doing good.
Jan 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: work
This book is the worst kind of business book. A terribly written, completely simplistic, folksy little fable where someone learns that sharing is caring! and all it takes to succeed is to be nice. If that's the case, I'm destined for failure. ...more
Sallie Dunn
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Required reading for my job (at the time). Stories that teach you get more for giving than getting. If you give to everyone you meet you will ultimately be rewarded along your career path. This book was entertaining and highly readable and mostly intended for people in sales although the principals here can be applied to many different aspects of employment and life.
May 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I suppose there are those who will feel this book is trite, easy or "feel-good". And it is a couple of those things. It is an easy book to read--a nice and fairly short story. And it is somewhat feel good, although I'm sure many readers felt a few pangs here and there as they recognized themselves on the page.

However, as with most books that are about who we are, individually and fundamentally, the challenge is the practice.

My recommendation is read the book and decide if it has value for you.
Jun 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: motivational, library
Very unique delivery, it felt like I was reading a story that was similar to where I am right now instead of being told what to do by some big business man who already is successful (where I want to be but feel no connection with). I'm Joe right now, not Bill Gates. Haha. ...more
Apr 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015
REALLY??? This book unrealistic contrived drivel. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME!

To best sum it up, the whole thing reads like a Brady Bunch episode: Joe learns to share, which essentially lands his competitor the "Big Kahuna" account, which is disappointing to Joe, but he did the right thing so that feels good. Then, SURPRISE! As a result of Joe's unselfish act of referring the "Big Kahuna" account to his competitor, Joe ends up landing an even bigger account making the "Big Kahuna" look like a minnow,
Robert Durough, Jr.
The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann is, simply put, twisted Prosperity Gospel propaganda. The authors call it a parable, meaning they don’t know what a parable is. Containing absolutely no depth and requiring no thought (if thought is given one will quickly see through the charade), this is a contrived, poorly written, forced narrative that promotes fantastical success and results based on an “if this, then that” lie of “giving = getting.” ...more
Apr 27, 2009 rated it liked it
* Appearances can be deceiving
* It never hurts to be kind to people
1) The Law of Value
*Everyone likes to be appreciated
* 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
*Your income is directly proportional to how many lives you touch
*Sometimes you look foolish, even feel foolish, but you do the thing anyways.
*RELAX - who ever said bein
Priya Pampati
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Oh my god! What a captivating story! I started reading this book in hope of getting business lessons but I ended up learning life's most valuable lessons. The authors have done a great job at story telling, right from the first sentence to the last, it was gripping!

What a wonderful place the world would be if everybody knew the 5 laws of stratospheric success!

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:
Dr T.Ayodele Ajayi
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I consider myself an avid reader in the personal development & Christian spiritual genre.I've however never been a fan of fictional books or story-telling.It was my friend Michelle Colon-Johnson(@michelle2dream) who recommended The Go-Giver, and kindly sent me a copy.
There was no time to be skeptical as I could tell from the very first page that this was not a novel.It was a business parable written with a gripping captivation.I was hooked and hanging on, like you do when watching an unfolding a
Alok Kejriwal
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Think of this book as a modernist version of The Alchemist.

It's like a smoothie for your mind :) Easy to read, gets done in a day.

I was referred to this book by a friend who wrote, "Alok, you will relate to it very much. It's what you do".

When I read it, I realised it pointed to what we all do, but in varying proportions: GIVE.

Set in mini-chapters, the book highlights 5 success factors that you can easily adapt & imbibe. Perfect for a weekend read (when the mind is a bit more receptive).

Raksha Bhat
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-kindle
Reading the right book at the right time can open our mind to a whole new world of possibilities and ideas. The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success which is the quintessence of 'The Go Giver' is applicable to people belonging to all walks of life. I was so drawn to them that a day of reading this book led me into implementing these lessons and it has changed my perception about 'giving' entirely. Regardless of the professional and personal lives that we lead these laws of 'Value-Compensation-Infl ...more
John Mann
Jan 21, 2008 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Not really fair -- I wrote this one! But I thought I'd add it to the shelf; I truly do enjoy reading it. ;) ...more
Mehrzad M.
I am not a businessman, nor an entrepreneur, so there's no way for me to apply the "laws" mentioned in the book at my work. The book was suggested and well, I couldn't resist figuring out what was the fuss about it.

I can rant about the applications of the "laws" in real life for hours, but in order to make this short, all I would say is they actually work. I believe many of us have already utilized at least a couple of these laws without knowing neither their name nor their expected results, we
T.L. Wilmore
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book. I read the entire story in three days. It was so good I didn't want to stop reading. ...more
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 stars. I’ll read it again. I thought this was a sales motivation book, but it’s actually a book about how “good people” run their lives. I hope I’m a “good person.”
Chad Warner
This business parable teaches how to be a "go-giver" rather than a go-getter to achieve success in business and life. The principles revolve around putting others first and being authentic. The lessons are valuable but seem idealistic in a capitalist system where, sadly, people are out to win without regard for the wellbeing of others. This book would be more effective with real-world examples demonstrating how the laws led to success, rather than as a purely fictional story.

The Law of Value
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: change-your-life
Never in a million years could I picture myself reading AND enjoying a self-help business-related book that my Australian co-worker would call "how very typically American." But I did. I read The Go-Giver. And I liked it.

It seems I have always had a semi-jaded mindset when it came to business and for-profits; at least, for the duration of my working career so far. How can I not when I've seen my share of businesspeople who only care about what they can get from you and how they'll benefit? Would
Judith Symonds
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved the Go-Giver. It is a really short and simple book and there is an interesting story line. For me the main thing that came up for me when I read this book was that the value that is added is me. I am slowly beginning to recognise all the little things about me that I have hid for so long are the things that I have to share. I also liked the way that the authors challenge the reader to try to apply each of the laws that very same day and so I read this book over 1 week and I saved the new ...more
Mike Vardy
Aug 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
This is one of the most valuable books I have ever read. The lessons that are shared through the storytelling are phenomenal. I have to say that there was a lot of validation I found in the book as well.

It was well narrated, well assembled, and just an overall great piece of work.

This is a book that I will highly recommend to anyone. And I'm going to buy the hardcover copy to keep visibly on my bookshelf. It's that important of a read for me.
Mar 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
How can a book that shares the "Five Laws of STRATOSPHERIC SUCCESS", not be good?!

I think the subtitle of this book is misleading. I found this book to be just as pertinent to life pratices, as I did business endeavors. This is a very enjoyable read with great characters.
Jesse Hall
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Game-changer. Highly recommend for anyone who sells a service or product. (NOTE: it's also a really short read - two hours or so.) Buy it and read it. ...more
Regina Scarborough
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is like another way of looking at the golden rule but it's quick read about how focusing on investing in others can help you achieve you goals. I'm going to have my whole team read it ...more
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A quick and simple book full of applicable stories on the power of giving.
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Bob Burg shares information on topics vital to the success of today’s businessperson. He speaks for corporations and associations internationally, including fortune 500 companies, franchises, and numerous direct sales organizations.

Bob is an advocate, supporter and defender of the Free Enterprise system, believing that the amount of money one makes is directly proportional to how many people they

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“Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.” 27 likes
“As long as you’re trying to be someone else, or putting on some act or behavior someone else taught you, you have no possibility of truly reaching people. The most valuable thing you have to give people is yourself. No matter what you think you’re selling, what you’re really offering is you.” (p.92)” 18 likes
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