Bob Berg wrote the book The Go Giver as a story that opens up the importance of relationships and having a positive focus while trying to reach our goals and find the level of success that we desire. Berg focuses his story on business and sales, but what he writes can be applied to many areas of our life, including areas outside of business. One of the cornerstones to Berg’s book is a focus on giving and providing value for others that helps one build, in an almost oblique path, toward the success they want to see. In one section a character in Berg’s book states, “You can’t go in two directions at once. Trying to be successful with making money as your goal is like trying to travel a superhighway at seventy miles an hour with your eyes glued to the rearview mirror.” Through this quote, Berg is addressing the idea that our goals are not always best served by simply diving in one direction after one idea.
For Berg, being a complete human being and thinking of others is of greater importance than anything else, especially when it comes to business. He argues throughout the book that those who reach the greatest level of financial success don’t just wake up and think how can I become super wealthy? Instead, they wake up thinking about how they can solve problems for others and provide greater value for others. By focusing outside of themselves they find solutions to help people, and they do so with the idea of assisting others and doing things that benefit them first, knowing that they will be able to find rewards afterwards. Often times we seem to think it is impure to want to assist others for our own personal gain. I think, and I suspect that Berg would agree, it is ok if we have a motive related to ourselves in helping others. If we decide to spend the time clearing trash from a street because we don’t want to see it and we know that others will appreciate it, we are still doing a good thing for the community even if we were primarily motivated by our own gain in the end. Where Berg would say this mindset needs to end is when we are setting something up that benefits us far more than it benefits others. Taking actions and presenting them as though they help all when truly they only marginally benefit anyone other than yourself misses the point, especially if you create an atmosphere around yourself in which your act as though your behaviors truly assist everyone.
Ultimately, the idea Berg shares in The Go Giver is the idea that we can drive toward huge successes and still be good people if we focus more on providing value to those around us as opposed to looking at the world for the value it can provide to us. When we focus first and foremost on others and helping them, we find ways in which we can grow, and we build relationships that will return something positive to us. Through these relationships, and through an idea of giving, we find a path toward success that is well rounded and more enjoyable.