by Dr. Patrick Williams, EdD, MCC
I love parables…from those spoken by Jesus in the Bible, to Aesop’s Fables with great life lessons, and more modern parables such as The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard (I always wished I had written that deceptively simple treatise) to Leadership and Self Deception, and the Anatomy of Peace by the Arbinger Institute (two fabulous books) to Change Your Questions, Change Your Life by one of my colleagues and students at ILCT, Marilee Adams and her followup book, Teaching that Changes Lives.
I recently read (and re-read) The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann, and it is now added to my list of deceptively simple wisdom delivered in a memorable and inspirational manner.
The Go-Giver as the authors tell, revolves around the story of a young professional (Joe) who is striving for success. Joe is ambitious, however lately it seems like his hard work and efforts are not paying off in terms of results. Following a disappointing quarter—in terms of sales results—he inadvertently seeks the mentorship of The Chairman.
Joe then embarks on a learning journey by meeting Go-Givers—friends of The Chairman. Through these interactions he learns of the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success:
- 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.
(From Wikipedia, downloaded 8/23/15)
As I read the book, I could relate to Joe. When the profession/industry of professional coaching began to spread beyond the corporate offices to the general public and solo business owners in the early 1990s, I saw the writing on the wall, or the view around the corner if you will.
Having been a psychologist sine 1980 and an executive coach since 1990, I could see that a more widespread interest in the power of a coaching relationship would be big! With that in mind, I closed my psychology practice in 1996, went full time into coaching as a business and in 1997 began developing what would become The Institute for Life Coach Training (www.lifecoachtraining.com).
I was like Joe in The Go-Giver. I built my coaching business and my coaching school by generous collaboration and giving my self away…or as I put it, giving my SELF a WAY! I paid many of my faculty and administration more than I made, but they allowed me to be creative and give back in many ways, and I was able to influence the lives and business of many professionals and the clients they served… What the Go-Giver would call a WIN-WIN.
Now I am in a transition where I have sold my coaching school, coach only a few clients and do trainings and keynote addresses a few times a year, but give back in my local community in ways that I am able and give back to the coaching profession in many ways as well.
One of the ways I do that is with my 10 year old non profit organization, Coaching The Global Village (www.CoachingTheGlobalVillage.org) both locally and around the globe as opportunities arise to teach the Coach Approach to communities and organizations.
I am also working now on teaching the power of different points of view in creative personal or organizational development. I use the Coaching Game and Punctum from the Points of You training company. (www.Points-of-You.com). It is a fabulous and fun way to bring new learning to individuals and groups and a great way to model the Go-Giver manifesto.
My story is just that…my story.
But the Go giver is a parable for today that may be very influential to your business and that of your clients. And it is about the business of Life…not just business… Remember, we are all to be human BEINGs not just human Doings!
Peace and Prosperity.