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  • Bob Burg

“You've basically revolutionized the way we are doing business. . . Your teaching style is very, very effective.”

~ Thomas J. Bartosic, SVP, Career Sales, G.E. Financial Assurance

The Fragility…of Receptivity

July 10th, 2015 by Bob Burg

In John David Mann’s and my Go-Giver book series we discuss the fifth and final law, that of Receptivity and how challenging it can be for so many.

In one sense, the abundance of lack messages permeating our daily lives can create a focus on what is missing rather than on all the natural prosperity surrounding us.

Then, there are worthiness issues that rear their ugly heads from time-to-time. “Am I deserving enough to receive?”

Adding to the above receptivity challenges is that they both typically work on an unconscious level where the person is not even aware that the issues exist!

There’s another aspect to receptivity though that can also stand in the way. While it’s on more of a conscious level, it also means we knowingly have to face some possible fears.

Receptivity can be a fragile thing, because to be receptive, you must leave yourself open. Keeping yourself genuinely open to a yes also means you expose yourself to a possible no.

Allowing yourself to be vulnerableHaving the courage to embrace an unexpected path also means embracing the risk that this path may lead nowhere — or nowhere good.

Perhaps this is the most challenging thing about being receptive: it means allowing yourself to be vulnerable.

The key is to embrace that vulnerability and, rather than letting potentially uncomfortable experiences diminish your joy and sense of fulfillment, let them deepen your ability to receive the abundance you desire.

Your thoughts? We’d love to…receive them.

We loving seeing all the new members of our Go-Giver Ambassadors Facebook group. Every morning, my awesome business partner, Kathy Tagenel posts an inspiring quote from John David Mann’s and my, Go-Giver book series that is designed to start your day off right and give you something to keep in mind throughout the day. Check out today’s inspirational quote at http://www.facebook.com/groups/GoGiverAmbassadors/

Missing The Communication Target?

June 29th, 2015 by Bob Burg

Adversaries into Allies - Bob BurgI’ll never forget when an early business mentor told me, “Burg, when the shooter misses the target…it ain’t the target’s fault.”

The older I get, and the more I study influence and communication, the more correct I believe he was.

How often do we try and get our point across but fail? It seemed that “what (s)he thought I said isn’t what I meant.” Or even, “what (s)he thought I meant isn’t what I said.”

Whose “fault” is this misunderstanding? Who is to “blame?”

I believe the answer is . . . “it doesn’t matter.” In my opinion, fault and blame are both irrelevant.

On the other hand, if we were to ask whose “responsibility” it was for the message not being received as intended, I’d say it is the sender’s.

Yes, the onus is on the communicator to ensure their message is understood.

When the late, Dr. Stephen R. Covey, in his classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People suggested (in Habit #5) that we “Seek first to understand, then to be understood,” he was certainly right on the mark. Doing so is vitally important in the communication process.

Both parts are important. Here, however, we are referring to the second part of that Habit.

You were not understood. Your message missed the mark. It did not hit its intended target.

If that’s the case, first, take responsibility for it. Then, look at why it happened and how to more effectively communicate that message next time.

Nine times out of ten, the major reason was that two different belief systems – yours and theirs – were at work in some way, confusing the issue.

And saying nine times out of ten is probably underestimating the cause by about nine tenths!

Key Point: Be sure that what you said and meant…is what they heard and understood. How? Ask enough clarifying questions to be sure.

The anguish it will save is well-worth those few extra moments.


So happy to announce that the paperback edition of Adversaries into Allies is now available. If you would like to accelerate your people skills and Master The Art of Ultimate Influence…you may purchase the book on amazon.com or at your local bookseller.

True Wisdom… and False Lessons

June 17th, 2015 by Bob Burg

True Wisdom... and False LessonsA famous teaching by Mark Twain in his Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar says:

“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it, and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again — and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more.”

Like practically all Twain-isms, this one is a gem. How often do we learn from an experience or a teaching but rather than stopping at the actual wisdom, take the lesson to a false conclusion?

A few quick examples:

  1. You buy something from a merchant and discover later that he was dishonest in his dealings with you.

    The wisdom: Pay attention.

    The false lesson: All merchants are cheats, so never trust any of them.

  2. You hear that it’s important to always speak truthfully to people when providing feedback.

    The wisdom: Communicating truthfully is much more helpful to that person than saying only what they want to hear.

    The false lesson: Your feedback must be conducted brutally, without tact or empathy. No need to frame it properly so that he or she will be encouraged rather discouraged.

  3. You learn that in sales persistence is important to success.

    The wisdom: Don’t let the NO’s get you down. Keep plugging away. Work past the NO’s until you get to the YESes.

    The false lesson: Keep calling the same person continually and annoying them.

As the Sages taught, “Who is wise? The one who learns from all others.”

Part of this wisdom is knowing the difference between the hot stove-lid… and the cold one.

What examples of true wisdom and false lessons can you share with us?

Success Principles of Modern-Day Heroes

June 5th, 2015 by Bob Burg

Members of our military’s special forces are tough, disciplined, and they embody the heroic instincts and learned skills that keep the rest of us safe.

The Navy SEALs are a major part of these elite teams and have much to teach regarding leadership, teamwork, smarts, and a ton of bravery and guts.

Recent books such as such as Lone Survivor and American Sniper have communicated these lessons well. Even the film versions have earned acclaim for telling the story in a heartfelt way without over-the-top and cringe-worthy caricatures of SEALs often featured in war movies.

John David MannA newly-released book, coauthored by former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb and our own John David Mann, AMONG HEROES: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s True Story of Friendship, Heroism, And the Ultimate Sacrifice shared some deeply personal stories based on Webb’s relationships with a number of his fellow SEALs who’ve all had their lives cut tragically short.

Webb and Mann already wrote one New York Times bestselling book together regarding the world’s most elite sniper corps. The Red Circle explored how Webb, after serving in the first SEAL team to hit the ground in Afghanistan following 9/11, went on to become Course Master of the legendary SEAL sniper school that trained Marcus Luttrell, Chris Kyle, and many others.

Brandon Webb - Among HeroesYou’ll recognize a number of names of Brandon Webb’s heroic friends in the book, such as his best friend, Glen Dougherty who, along with Ty Woods were killed while attempting to rescue Ambassador Chris Stevens and others at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in 2012.

There’s Matt “Axe” Axelson, from the ill-fated Lone Survivor mission; several members of the famous SEAL Team Six who died tragically in the August 2011 crash of a helicopter in Afghanistan, and of course Chris Kyle, outsized Texan and author of American Sniper.

You’ll also meet and learn of a number of others; all different in shape, size, natural ability and more, but all very much the same when it came to those attributes which make for a very special brand of mastery and achievement.

In this chat with coauthor John David Mann we’ll look at some of the powerful lessons he learned about about life, excellence, and genuine success from Brandon and the SEALs including…

  • Why mental toughness is even more important for a Navy SEAL than physical toughness
  • Why Special Ops forces such as the SEALS are the entrepreneurs of an otherwise very corporate-culture military, and what that means
  • How the Navy SEALs define Wolves, Sheep, and Sheepdogs
  • Surprising insights from the family members of the loved ones they lost

Also, and I found this to be especially interesting…

  • What it’s like being in business with a Navy SEAL — what John learned by watching how Brandon thinks, makes decisions, takes risks, and conducts himself on the sometimes-hazardous field of business.

Enjoy our chat!

Among Heroes

If you think the discussion with John was fascinating, just wait until you read the book. AMONG HEROES is available online and at bookstores nationwide.

To donate to Brandon’s Red Circle Foundation, which he started to assist the families of fallen heroes, visit RedCircleFoundation.org

TECHNICAL NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the interview, please make sure Adobe Flash Player is installed in your web browser. If not, then download Flash Player. Or right-click here and select “Save Link As…” to download the audio file to your computer.

The Referral-Based Mechanic

May 28th, 2015 by Bob Burg

Referral-based Mechanic - Bob BurgIn his new book, Enhanced People Skills, John Terhune tells a great story about bringing his car to his mechanic for servicing (the warranty with his dealership had expired). The particular issue was a part that would have cost him well over $500 to repair.

After doing some research, the mechanic informed John that the part had been recalled by the manufacture and so John should take the car back to the dealership where they’d most likely replace the part at no charge. They did and John saved what would have been an unnecessary expense.

Did the mechanic lose anything?

Well, one might say he lost over $500. But, did he really? I don’t believe so. Not only would John now never even think of taking his car to anyone else; he eagerly and enthusiastically refers everyone to him. And, John is definitely one of those Centers of Influence who business owners and salespeople want as their Personal Walking Ambassador.

The mechanic benefited greatly from his decision to put John’s interests before his own immediate one.

Please don’t think, however, that the mechanic was being selfless (which I define as “incongruent with self”). He was not. First, he was acting congruently with his values — that being honest and placing the interests of the customer first is the right way to live life.

Secondly, he understands that it’s also the best way to conduct business. He knew his own business would be well-taken care of. Not through some magical thinking but rather for very logical reasons. When you place the other person’s interests first, they like you more and they trust you much more than they would otherwise.

Not only does that feel good…it’s very, very profitable!

Perhaps you’ve been in John’s situation, or the mechanic’s. Feel free to share stories of either.


We loving seeing all the new members of our Go-Giver Ambassadors Facebook Page. Every morning, my awesome business partner, Kathy Tagenel posts an inspiring quote from John David Mann’s and my, The Go-Giver series that is designed to start your day off right and give you something to keep in mind throughout the day. Check out today’s quote and photo at http://www.facebook.com/groups/GoGiverAmbassadors/