New books often fade to the background as time goes by. The Go-Giver seems to generate more buzz with every passing year!
Written by Bob Burg and our own Editor in Chief Emeritus, John David Mann (back when he wasn’t “emeritus” yet), this “little story about a powerful business idea” was first published in December 2007 and quickly became a favorite in the networking space.
Its influence is starting to grow enormously in the world at large, too. Last Christmas Glenn Beck gave out copies to every one of his 300-some employees. Arianna Huffington has endorsed it. Chambers of Commerce are handing it out to their members. The mayor of Longview, Texas, has adopted it as a guiding text for his entire city.
Generosity of spirit seems to be an idea whose time has come.
Now, just a few months shy of its 8th birthday, their publisher is coming out with a brand new edition of the book in celebration of its passing the half-million mark.
The Go-Giver: Expanded Edition officially launches on Tuesday, October 6.
You can order your copy here.
So … what’s new in this “new” edition?
Perhaps more important is what’s isn’t new: the story itself. The authors clearly understood that this was a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and have smartly chosen to preserve the exact text of the original parable (other than correcting a typo or two).
We naturally wondered, is there enough actual new content to warrant all the fuss of a new edition? Happily, the answer is yes.
An introduction reports briefly on what’s been happening since the book first appeared, on how people from high school teachers to Chambers of Commerce to pastors too tech companies have been using it to better do what they do.
A foreword from Arianna Huffington provides a lovely real-world perspective—short, sweet, and to the point. Here’s how she starts out:
“Giving, touching others’ lives, expanding the circle of our concern to include others, being authentic, and being always open to receiving as well as giving. That’s not just a children’s fairy tale—it’s a good description of many of the most amazing people I’ve encountered.”
The “discussion guide” is, for me, where the additional value really starts to kick in. This is a book that has inspired a ton of discussion groups, from book clubs to church groups to businesses small and large. After the conclusion of the story itself, the authors offer a set of 17 provocative questions designed to help readers, whether as groups or individuals, gain further insights into the book’s rich subtext. For example, here’s point #13:
“Why does Debra Davenport describe her husband’s walking out on her, obviously a very painful and difficult experience, as a gift? What does she mean when she says it took her a full year to unwrap, open, understand, and use that gift—and that she now wants to share that gift with everyone in her audience?”
A Q&A section tops the book off with a dozen-plus pages addressing some of the “most frequently asked questions” the authors hear from reader. For example, here are just three of the 22 questions this section explores:
“Is The Go-Giver purely fictional, or is it based on a true story?”
“Am I the only one who has a tough time with the Law of Receptivity?”
“Doesn’t it say in the Bible that it’s better to give than to receive?”
There are also some incredible endorsements from an assortment of luminaries:
“The Go-Giver is the most important parable about business—and life—of our time.” ADAM GRANT, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take
“One of my favorite books ever. It has made a huge difference in my life, and it aligns with everything I stand for.” MARIE FORLEO, founder of B-School and MarieTV
“The Go-Giver is a must-read for anyone who wants to change the world.”GLENN BECK, talk show host and founder of TheBlaze
“The Go-Giver is a small book that packs a huge idea: the surest path to success—in all senses of that overused word—is to give.” DANIEL PINK, New York Times bestselling author
of Drive and To Sell Is Human
Congratulations to Bob and John—and here’s to another 8 years and more of their Go-Giver books making a difference in the world!
PS: This coming March, Burg and Mann are also releasing a sequel of sorts, another parable entitled The Go-Giver Leader (a reworked version of their earlier book, It’s Not About You), applying the core ideas of The Go-Giver to the world of leadership. Their companion volume, Go-Givers Sell More (which came out in 2010), is a set of 31 brief chapters applying the Go-Giver idea to the world of selling, along with real-world examples. Both books, needless to say, have especially apt relevance to those in the networking space!
Also by John David Mann: Leaders Lift People Up