Last week, however, my dad bought me a little book called The Go-Giver: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea (New York: Portfolio, 2007), by Bob Burg and John David Mann. I read most of it on a plane from Denver to Knoxville (with two kids to distract me), and I finished it yesterday. If I had sat at a quiet place (say, the Starbucks in which I'm currently sitting) and focused on reading it, I think it would have taken me an hour.
This is a fantastic little book, and I highly recommend it to everyone with an hour and a hunger to employ their gifts in deeper service to more people. At the heart of this business parable are five principles, styled "The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success" (please don't judge the whole book by this cheesy line):
- 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.
Reading this little book has energized me and challenged me to consider new ways I can serve my students and invest themselves in their success. It has also re-awakened in me the conviction that this service and investment will augment (rather than distract from) my own success as an educator, an academic, and a Christian.