Book Club: The Go-Giver

PG Book club






Plaster Group’s consultants all got on the same page and received a copy of The Go-Giver, A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann. A quick read, this novel shares the lessons learned by the main character, Joe, as he engages with a massively successful (but mysterious) mentor. The mentor passes to Joe his “Five Laws of Stratospheric Success”…


Here are some of our consultants’ takes on these keys for success:


I believe in today’s dynamic, increasingly connected world; value is not about delivering one thing, but rather about synthesizing, connecting the dots, plugging into a team structure that can deliver more than the sum of its parts. I think success comes from being able to collaborate across teams, see their faces, listen to their problems, help them regain their sanity, and be the glue that holds them together. For example, right now at work we have a solution that can potentially help hundreds of users and deliver consistent numbers across the entire organization, but it has been not been incubated properly and raised by the proper people who are needed because they can take it to the next level. By being a good middleman – listening, translating, doing the things that people don’t want to do – I can help the team deliver the solution to live up to its potential.
At my client site, it says on the wall: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” (which I can’t help but hear in Jean-Luc Picard’s voice).
— Colin Carson, Sr. BI Consultant


I saw this law as a balancing of quantity (how many people you serve), and quality (how well you serve them). I remember learning that quality and quantity are inversely related when price is kept constant, and I’m sure most people have experienced the trend of quality decreasing when they’ve sought larger quantities of a product or service. I also think that people have a tendency on focusing on the quantity side of things as the quickest path towards gaining greater success, so much so that they allow the quality of whatever their output is to decline. So, I think the key to increasing “your income” (or as I saw it, what you get back from the world), is to refrain from dramatically improving quality or quantity, while allowing the other to slide. Instead of focusing on making huge gains, take small steps. Try to serve just one more person, providing them the equivalent experience as those you are formerly serving. And then go back and try to improve everyone’s experience just a little bit, before searching for an additional unit to serve. 
— Lena Badicke


The Law of Influence closely aligns with professional coaching, which is one component of the larger set of Agile coaching competencies.  Professional coaching entails “partnering with clients in a creative process that inspires their personal and professional potential” (from the International Coaching Federation).  My duty as an Agile coach in the professional coaching stance is to acknowledge and explore the agenda of my client, and help them discover and reach their potential.  To do this in a genuine and unadulterated manner, I must place my client’s interest above all else, including my own agenda.  It is this ability to act as a coach, with the client’s interest determining the direction (rather than the coach’s interests, opinions, or bias), that makes professional coaching so impactful.
— Grant Beck, Agile Practice Area Director


This one called to me the most keenly. I’ve always had doubts about the value I add (particularly as a PM) and also how well I fit into the corporate world, maybe because of my background, and certainly my values (Keynesian). Reading this was a self-validation, that I do have something to offer beyond slick methodologies and, might I add, a pretty good wardrobe? I’ve worked very closely and for a long time with my colleague Grant Beck, and every time I am assailed with self-doubt, this “law” in essence, is what he assures me I exemplify. 
— Shama Bole, Client Service Director 


One of the core tenets at Plaster Group is to leave your ego at the door; to be open to input from others and understand that everyone, even those of us who have been in the business for years, has something to learn. When we meet with clients, we know that it’s always a two-way conversation and never a speech, that helps deliver on our objectives. As Bill Nye once said, “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” Our success is predicated on being able and open to receiving feedback and learning new things. 
— Christopher Vaughan, Sr. Business Solutions Consultant

And to the message of the book as a whole:

The laws below seem to be rooted in Egoism, which is to say that all actions a person takes are at their core rooted in the desire to further their own wellbeing or interests.  Taking any single philosophical principle and applying it as a hard and fast rule is a recipe for disaster.  Rather than think of them as ‘laws’, the better approach would be to refer to them as guidelines by which one can arrive at an action.  This leaves room to apply (or disregard) them as necessary to determine the best course of action or behavioral patterns in each individual decision or action.
–Kyle Conell, Sr. SharePoint Consultant