In the spirit of Martin Luther King Day as a day of service, I am moved to share a methodology for success based on generosity of spirit and action. It comes from the book The Go-Giver, which was published in 2008 by Portfolio and, in its first year, sold more than 120,000 copies, becoming a Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek bestseller. The Go-Giver is a business parable that teaches the power of generosity; it has a simple but powerful message — that giving is the most fulfilling and effective path to success.
Here from The Go-Giver are what the authors, Bob Burg and John David Mann, present as the "Five Laws of Stratospheric Success." As you read these, see how they certainly apply to corporate directors — in how executives, driven by an ethic of service which many if not most directors are, take on such a responsible duty, and what they put themselves in position to give and, in turn, to receive:
• The Law of Value: Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.
• The Law of Compensation: Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
• The Law of Influence: Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first.
• The Law of Authenticity: The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.
• The Law of Receptivity: The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.
The authors' follow-up, Go-Givers Sell More, has just landed on my desk. The sequel adapts The Go-Giver principles specifically for people who sell daily in their jobs.
A philosophy that giving is the best way of getting is one that resonates on MLK Day. It is a philosophy that should resonate every day with every corporate director.