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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Stratospheric Success! Really? Stratospheric?

I have a new group of friends. We call ourselves HTG15. I don't think we are a gang, but I've been working hard on a new handshake.

HTG15 is a peer group. We are a group of 12 owners of IT service companies. We meet once a quarter to share everything about our individual company to the rest of the group. For each other, we are a virtual board of directors and support group. Our first meeting was in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and in January we meet in Dallas.

I could write 20 pages about the group, the experience and how it has already changed my life. But that's not today's topic! Today's topic is about Stratospheric Success!

When the group left Council Bluffs, IA we all left with a small red book. The book is The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. The little red book spills a secret. The secret of how to obtain "Stratospheric Success!" The little red book is fantastic, takes about three hours to read, and completely changed how I interact with people all day long. You read me right STRATOSPHERIC SUCCESS!

Now I'm not about to give you a play-by-play on the book. Go get it and read it. In fact, the first person to send me an email will get my copy.

The secret is simple. Give. Give. Give. Give unconditionally and with no expectation of reward. There are five rules (and coincidentally, five nice blog topics).

The Law of Value
Your true worth is determined by
how much more you give in value
than you take in payment.

This one is easy! Give more in value than you take in payment. If you receive nothing in payment and give any value, you are giving more. We can all do this all day long. Hold a door, pick up a piece of garbage from the sidewalk, give a real smile and say good morning to a stranger in line when you wait for a cup of coffee. Give a genuine "thank you." Doing any of these things give value to the recipient, and you take no payment. Give more to your employer than you take in a salary. When you are hired to perform a task, or complete a job, exceed the expectation of the client (and exceed by far). It really is easy to live this way.

As you read The Go-Giver you will learn that there is "a condition" required to learn the secret and the five rules. The condition is doing. If you don't execute the rule on the day that you learn it.... you are not invited back for the next rule. Execution isn't as hard as it sounds.

I'm reluctant to do this, because a true Go-Giver doesn't give for notoriety, but I want to share how I execute the laws. My hope is to show how easy it is and give you ideas to do the same.

The day after I read my little red book, i was cold called by a sales person. This sales person (James Wing, Enterprise Account Representative, Xandros, Inc. - I wont post his email address without permission, but if you want it, email me) had sent me an unsolicited email message a couple of days prior that I scanned and ignored. James was trying to sell me a Linux-based equivalent of Microsoft Exchange that I could resell as a service. Unfortunately, my Linux skills have all but evaporated and this was not a product for us. For the last ten years, I have made a habit (and some times a sport) of being mean to sales people.

But now! I'm a Go-Giver!

Instead of blasting James and asking that he never call me again. I made him a promise. I promised him that I would print out his email message and put that piece of paper on my desk, and that I would shuffle that paper around for a month. And every time I picked up that piece of paper, I would try to come up with a prospect or lead for him. Unfortunately, I haven't come up with one (yet). But I'm sure that I've put more effort into helping James in the last month than any other person he called that day (or maybe this month).

Just today, somebody asked me if I knew of anybody that was looking to hire somebody with his skills. His resume is now a stack of three pages on my desk, to be shuffled around for a month.

Just today, the president of a website development company called. One of their best programmers received an opportunity that he couldn't refuse and is advancing his career. The phone call asked if I knew of a programmer that knew PHP and Access/SQL database programming. Unfortunately I don't (if you do, let me know and I'll pass on the word), but there is a full sheet of paper with a typed note that I'll shuffle around my desk for a month to keep me thinking for them.

I'm no genius, and I'm not wonderful. In none of these cases, could I solve the problem, but I am doing everything I can to not blow them off. I'm doing everything I can to provide more value than I take in payment.

I promised HTG15 that I'd have this posting done before Thanksgiving. I also promised that I'd write another entry about the Second Rule of Stratospheric Success before the weekend was over. So come back soon.

Brian O'Shaughnessy
Green Bay, WI


The Peer Guy said...

Great post Brian. The Go Giver lifestyle really does make a huge difference when we focus on others rather than self. Glad HTG15 is already changing your life. You have only began to see the impact it can have, and I know you will continue to make those same impacts on others as you live the Go Giver way!


Dixie Gillaspie said...

Oh dear - please don't say you aren't wonderful. Skip ahead to Law #5 and let me tell you that you are, indeed wonderful and that you are showing yourself to be both a go-giver AND a smart fellow. Let's see, you know if you don't APPLY the laws nothing happens. You found one way to apply a law (#3) by taking time (#4) to someone who, in most people's view, didn't earn it (#1) and then parlayed that (#2) into doing the same for others. So please apply #5 and accept that you are a wonderful example of the Laws in that little red book. And if you want to build a culture of Go-Givers your example will be the biggest step you take (see #2, #3, and #4) Remember that Pindar doesn't say the secret is ONLY to give, he gives all five laws for a reason and you're doing a fabulous job with them. I'll be back to check out the rest of the posts!