Leveraging Learnings from The Go-Giver

For 2019, how is your professional development coming along? Or said differently, how is the “investment in you” going?  One of the key takeaways I learned from a former supervisor (and still a current mentor) was this statement. He would say, “in your role in the field, we need you and your colleagues to be as well-equipped as possible. Your professional development, your expertise will either increase or limit your ability to give value to the PGA professionals you serve.” If you’re in a supervisory role, I would like to challenge you to invest more in those you lead in 2019. And, more in your own development.

One of the books given to me for my professional development this fall is the book, The Go-Giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann. To summarize the book, it tells a story about a man, a professed “go-getter” named Joe. He is a salesman and has experienced reasonable success from being an “ambitious go-getter.” However, he seems to have reached his limits, where his effort, ambition and commitment are no longer enough to “make the difference.”

Joe is struggling to make his quarterly sales target, and is literally grasping at any connection he has, in hopes of “making his numbers.” In desperation, he starts to ask for help. In that ask, he is led to meet a mentor named Pindar to help him. He expects to have pay for the help, but surprisingly Pindar (aka The Chairman) gives him valuable advice at no cost to him. Instead, Pindar teaches Joe the “Five Laws of Stratospheric Success,” by having Joe meet various people who have already mastered these five laws.

The simplest, clearest message of the book actually aligns with Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Law of Compensation: “you will always be compensated for your contributions, one way or another. Therefore, it’s better to focus on giving more if you wish to receive more.”

The book goes beyond the Law of Compensation, and further expands it into five laws known as “The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success.” In the book, the authors boldly recommend the reader actually try them, instead of just thinking about them. They believe, the reader will then determine for themselves that each of these five laws do indeed work.  

The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success (I will seek to take each of the five laws and apply them to our golf business, and/or to our roles as golf professionals, leaders, managers and teachers of the game.)

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

True worth: the true worth an individual brings is more than WHAT they do, or HOW they do it. The true worth might be a formula like this: (Your Why + Your Positivity + Your Effort + Your Professionalism) = Your True Worth (to those you give your time, effort and value to.) Another way to look at “true worth” is the difference one person makes vs a person who might replace them (eg. Similar to “Wins Against Replacement” or WAR score in baseball metrics.) Question: What is your true worth?

Value: is a part of the customer’s “demand decision” (or the member’s, or the employee’s), and what they get from doing business with you, your facility, etc. is the way their value is defined. Question: Do you regularly enhance the value in your customer’s demand decision?

Worthwhile payment: The old saying, “A good day’s pay for a good day’s work.” This is the accurate, but simplistic view. I would add that “a good day’s (or week, or year’s) effort is made more worthwhile, more fulfilling and more impactful when it the work is more beneficial to all involved. A “win-win” outcome to create “worthwhile fulfillment.” Question: Do you do more than a “good day’s work?” Do you create/drive “win-win” outcomes for your customer/member and/or your employer?

2. “The Law of Compensation — Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.”

Your impact short term: the value of your true worth to those you impact, will come “back to you” in compensation (monetary, reputation, in-kind compensation, etc.) at a greater rate of return than you shared

Your impact long term: this is your impact, lengthened out, and strengthened through those you make an impact on (the compensation you might receive for this will often be beyond monetary value, but spill into areas most would consider “priceless” or lasting in value.)

Your impact, made by those you impact: Your service, mentoring and leadership example will be exemplified by others and their service will increase your reputation, your value and quite often, your compensation

“Keep On Casting” – there’s an old saying that says, “Keep on casting your bread upon the water, soon it’s gonna come back home on every wave.” In this saying, the point is to believe in what you’re doing, don’t be “shaken” if the results you expect don’t come right away, instead “stand strong” in your belief and “keep casting.” Question: Are you still casting (and giving) your service to what you believe? Are you willing to “keep casting?”

3. “The Law of Influence — Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.”

“Now, by a network I don’t necessarily mean your customers or clients. I mean a network of people who know you, like you and trust you. They might never buy a thing from you, but they’ve always got you in the backs of their minds. They’re people who are personally invested in seeing you succeed, y’see? And of course, that’s because you’re the same way about them. They’re your army of personal walking ambassadors. When you’ve got your own army of personal walking ambassadors, you’ll have referrals coming your way faster than you can handle them.

Employees first: as a leader/manager, if you put these, who often have the greatest contact with the customer first, they’ll put the customer (member) first and allow your influence to lead them, inspire them. Question: Do those you lead feel like they’re first, that you’re a servant leader?

Teammates first: this is the very same as employees, except we’re talking about those you with, your peers, your colleagues. Question: Do your teammates recognize your team-centric approach? (If not, maybe it’s not a reality to them.)

Community first: this one is the hardest to measure, but it can be the most powerful. The more you put the needs, outcomes and benefits for the community first, the more those who make up the community will allow your influence to guide, inspire and motivate their behaviors.

Customer or Member first: if you build programming, experiences and event schedules around the “demand decision” of the customer, giving them preference (over your own), they’ll reward you, let you influence them and lead them to act in the ways of loyalty.

4. “The Law of Authenticity — The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.”

As a Manager, Authenticity Matters: As a leader and manager, sharing yourself (with wisdom) enhances your credibility and your ability to lead. Acknowledging, (with authentic self-awareness,) your faults and mistakes to your team, your volunteers, your kids, etc. will give them security in not having to be perfect, and it sets the example that we do our best and seek excellence, (but we’re not bound and weighed down by our inability to be perfect.) 

Develop the authentic strengths and skills you have, but don’t hide from your “weaknesses/gaps.” Allow, and seek out, others who can fill your gaps (and you fill theirs) and have strengths of their. Your willingness to “see your gaps” and “celebrate their strengths” are what will help you make the “most of your authentic best.”

“What I’m here to sell you on, is you. People, remember this: no matter what your training, no matter what your skills, no matter what area you’re in, you are your most important commodity. The most valuable gift you have to offer is you. Reaching any goal you set takes ten percent specific knowledge or technical skills — ten percent, max. The other ninety-plus percent is people skills. And what’s the foundation of all people skills? Liking people? Caring about people? Being a good listener? Those are all helpful, but they’re not the core of it. The core of it is who you are. It starts with you.”

5. “The Law of Receptivity — The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.”

Room to grow: receptiveness and willingness to learn is key to growth.

When I was a general manager, I believe one of my “aha moments” was to try to “look for the constructive feedback, or the opportunity to improve that was within the complaint.” Once I started thinking this way, I found myself appreciating constructive feedback from customers, employees and peers; and I started to feel like there were less complaints I had to deal with.

  • Accept advice from a sage mentor
  • Accept the “needle of inspiration” (and the challenge) from a younger, faster, hipper mentor
  • Accept the challenge from your peers who are pushing “the envelope” in ways you wouldn’t have; learn from the “better practices” of your peers

Now is the time to ask yourself some of these questions. Are you a “Go-Getter?” Are you feeling like Joe did, burning out on the effort side of “getting?” Would you like to be a “Go-Giver” instead? Does that sound like a more fulfilling approach to reaching your goals, growing your impact and your income?  If you’d like to get together with me to consider these questions, I’m in. When can we can make it happen? I appreciate the opportunity to help you (or those you lead) with your career and I hope you’ll give me the opportunity to partner with you on it soon.

Happy New Year,

Monte Koch, PGA Certified Professional/Player Development | Career Consultant
PGA Career Services | PGA of America
Serving PGA professionals, employers in the Pacific NW & Rocky Mountain PGA Sections
Email: Mkoch@pgahq.com Cell: 206/335-5260