Some “Twitter tweets” (still can’t get a handle on those terms) 🙂 have been…er, tweeted of late asking, “are you a go-getter or a go-giver?” The implication is that, while being a go-giver is a positive thing, being a go-getter is not. So, I’d like to clarify something, if I may.
My awesome coauthor, John David Mann and I are often asked – since we titled our book The Go-Giver – if being a “go-getter” is a bad thing to be? The answer is…no, not at all. In fact, absolutely not at all. Being a go-getter is terrific!! Go-getters are generally people who make things happen, who get things done. They take action and, as you know, without action, nothing happens. (Years ago, there was an excellent book written by Peter B. Kyne entitled The Go-Getter. One of my favorites.)
The key is, while being a go-getter, to have a go-giver’s heart – a desire to, and a genuine focus on, providing value to others – which many go-getters certainly have. In other words, being one does not exclude also being the other. Thinking it does is an example of what John and I call the “treacherous dichotomy” – that often false belief of something having to one or the other. Of course, there are indeed times this is so; this just isn’t one of them.
Actually, the opposite of a go-giver is not a go-getter. The opposite of a go-giver is a go-taker, that person who feels almost entitled to take, take, take without having provided value — to the other person, to the relationship, to the process, etc. We’ve all known our share of these people, and they can be good people. But they often wonder why, though they work hard and strive for success, they rarely attain it to the level feel they deserve. And, even when they do, it’s typically short-lived.
In Chapter One of our story, Joe is described as a go-getter who’s frustrated with his lack of success. However, at first, he’s a go-getter with a go-taker’s heart. As the story progresses and he learns and embraces the Five Laws, and, just as importantly, takes immediate action on those laws, he transforms beautifully into a person who’s still a go-getter; he’s still a person of action but now he has the heart of a go-giver. And that makes all the difference.
So, to answer the currently oft-tweeted (yes, oft-tweeted) 😉 question, “Are you a go-getter or a go-giver? We hope the answer is…”yes!”
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Hi Bob, Very clever. Thanks for pointing that out as I too was committing the fallacy of thinking it was an either/or situation. I wanted to point out that the possible reason why some people are mistakenly thinking along these lines is that some go-getters cross the line into go-taker territory often, and give go-getters a bad name. Example: I had a 2 short message/email conversation with someone who was clearly prospecting me on FB. And that is fine; I love to network with people on FB. This person presented themselves as a go-giver, but was evidently a go-getter who crossed the line into go-taker when on the second message, I was being asked for my employers HR contact name, tel # and address locally so that they could prospect them on giving some kind of a business course. When I refused, they said they didn’t understand why I would do that … This person was a very nice and well connected person, but they were displaying go-taker behavior and that is why go-getters get a bad rap. Am I being too hard? Let me know.. really. Love your blog !!! Kirsty.
Hello Kirsty and Bob;
I’m wondering if there is such a thing as an insincere go-giver, and if so, does it still work according to the principles you outline in your book. I’m guessing no, as the energy just isn’t the same. Based on my own experiences with what I think was an insincere go-giver, it is not. I guess that speaks more to your piece on Intuition :-)!
Hope you’re both having a great day!
Hi Kirsty and Lauren,
Thank you for your feedback and questions.
Kirsty: Very natural to think “either/or.” Actually, in the book itself we should have probably found a way to explain the difference but we really never even thought of doing so. In the next book (scheduled for Spring 2010 release) John and I actually do cover that in some detail. Regarding your thoughts on some go-getters being go-getters; yes, absolutely it happens. And, that’s how Joe started off. While there is no “natural division” between a go-getter and a go-giver, if a go-getter is a go-taker, that’s when the division occurs. Regarding the person with whom you had the Facebook conversation; of course, not being there I don’t know their actual intent but, they obvously came across to you in that way and could very well be the case. It’s always frustrating when someone comes across as a go-giver and then there true go-taker character surfaces. But, such is life and it’s imortant to be aware that that can happen.
Lauren: In answer to your question, by the very definition of a Go-Giver, no, they could not be insincere and still be a Go-Giver. After alll, if they are not aligned with the 4th Law, The Law of Authenticity, then they were never truly a Go-Giver to begin with. They were probably, as Kirsty described, someone who was coming across that way but then showed their true colors. Does that make sense?
Thanks for the blog and ensuing conversation. This distinction had not crossed my mind before, and I appreciate all the input.
In a sense, the go-giver is the one who helps others become successful go-getters. The more people you can help become successful go-getters, the more success you will enjoy yourself.
Go-takers, on the other hand, are not concerned with the success of the other, and therefore do not interact in a way that leads to sustained mutual success. Does this make sense?
Being a Go-Getter creates more opportunities to give, Bob. You know that. The bigger your universe is, the more chances to connect others who can help one another. It’s important to be a Go-Getter SO you can be a better Go-Giver!
Osnat, makes a lot of sense. I apologize, however, that I didn’t respond much sooner than this. (THAT doesn’t make a lot of sense.)
Joe, great points. Thank you!