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1-Page Summary of The Go-Giver
The Go-Giver is a book that explores the idea of giving and how it can help people succeed. The book follows Joe, who’s having trouble meeting his company’s sales quota. He turns to an older, wealthy man for advice on how he can improve himself in order to increase his chances of succeeding at work. These two authors use this story as a way to share their five principles for success: give more than you get, be generous with your time and resources, give before you get back, always go first when sharing something valuable with someone else (give them value before asking anything in return), and finally make sure that what you’re offering has real value (don’t just say “yes” or agree with others).
One Friday, a week before the end of his company’s third quarter, Joe finds himself in trouble. A large account he hopes to secure turns him down and goes with a competitor instead. He resolves not to fall short of his quota for the third time that year by winning back this client with help from someone who knows how to win deals – Pindar. After talking to an experienced employee, Joe gets Pindar’s contact information and sets up a meeting for Saturday morning.
The next morning, Joe drives to a magnificent mansion. He meets Pindar, who is in his early sixties but actually in his eighties. Pindar tells him that he will divulge the secrets of success if Joe comes back for lunch every day during the week and puts what he learns into practice before the end of each day.
Joe arrives on Monday for his meeting with Pindar and they go to a cafe to meet Ernesto Iafrate, who is also a successful real estate mogul. He explains that success can be measured by how much value you provide compared to what you earn. Joe puts this into practice when he provides a referral to a lawyer who informs him that his client will not be renewing its contract with Joe’s company.
The next day, Joe and Pindar meet with Nicole Martin, the founder of an educational software company. She tells them that a professional’s earning potential is determined by how many people she helps and at what level. They both put this lesson into practice by serving coffee to their coworkers and preparing for their meeting on Wednesday with Sam Rosen, who became legendary among colleagues because he was so influential. He teaches Joe the third law—a professional’s stature will be determined by her ability to place others’ needs before her own. Joe puts this lesson into practice by listening to his wife complain about him not being home enough lately.
On Thursday, Joe and Pindar attend a speech given by Debra Davenport. She tells them that an entrepreneur’s most important asset is his personality. He also learns the fourth law from Pindar: authenticity. This means that you should be yourself when presenting your idea to others so they can connect with it better. Another hint he gets is that on Friday, there will be another guest at their meeting—himself! By applying these lessons in the past week, Joe has grown as a person and as a professional who knows how to share ideas well enough for people to understand him intuitively.
Joe learns the last law from Pindar, who says that a professional can only profit when he is willing to accept gifts from others. Joe does this by building a company with one of Pindar’s proteges and becoming wildly successful. He earns his success by serving others and accepting gifts from those who return his generosity.
Key Point 1: The more successful professionals are, the more likely they are to practice kindness in their daily routine.
Joe visits Pindar at his home and is amazed by the old man’s kindness. He opens up to Joe about how he became successful, even though he doesn’t have to. This generosity is common among those who are famous and wealthy. The more people become famous or wealthy, the more generous they are with others.