Casey J. Cornelius, @CaseyJFCFL

“Do millennials even read?” This was the response I got when I shared with a friend the fact I have agreed to do a monthly book review here at GenYize. Sigh.

Yes, I believe wholeheartedly that millennials read and look for books which will help on the road to personal and professional growth and development. This is one of the reasons I have agreed to pen this column but not the only. Selfishly, I also want to help you explore topics which are of particular interest; my target “market” typically is college students and my company, ForCollegeForLife, looks to help bridge the gap between those two distinctive worlds. My hope is that my reviews can provide you with some insights into making the jump and help you delve into some topics which might help you on your personal journey.

For the first installment, I have chosen a book which I find to be insightful and appropriate to anyone on the road to self-improvement and mastery.

BOOK:  The Go-Giver (2007), Rating:  10/10

Before I begin my review, I want to offer a bit of a backstory; my good friend and mentor, T.J. Sullivan, sent me this book as a birthday gift. I had noticed him mention the phrase “go-giver” a few times recently, but not connected the dots. I’m so thrilled T.J. thought of me and, as a means of “passing it on,” I want to extend a special offer at the conclusion of this review.

Bob Burg and John David Mann introduce the concept of the “go-giver” via a parable of Joe; Joe is a young, hungry go-getter in his office. He exceeds expectations, meets his quarterly sales goals, and is seen as a person on the rise. Like many of us, Joe is determined to achieve great things in his professional life and sees no end to his potential. After an unexpected failure, though, Joe attempts to seek the support of a hugely successful business man, Pindar.

I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but it introduces you to the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success. They are:

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

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

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

4.  The Law of Authenticity: The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

5.  The Law of Receptivity:  The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

We are bombarded with the image of the go-getter, a person who strives to achieve as much as humanly possible in all endeavors. Images of the new professional, working countless hours each week in order to obtain money and success, are pervasive.  But this book works to frame the discussion in quite a different way. That's not to say this book is attempting to preach that those goals are irrelevant—rather, it offers a completely different lens to see the methods of obtaining them.   

Overall Impression

What an excellent read! I found myself moving through the chapters quickly and having a genuine curiosity as to how Joe would discover each of the five laws and apply them to his life. The writing is approachable and often funny—it reads less like a book who promises “a powerful business idea” and more a short screenplay.

My hunch is you’ll find The Go-Giver refreshing, especially if you are accustomed to other books in the “Business” section. It isn’t filled with formulas or examples of concepts in action, but certainly will allow you to engage in important reflection about your personal priorities and how to maximize success via giving. 

Go looking for conflict, and you’ll find it. Go looking for people to take advantage of you, and they generally will. See the world as a dog-eat-dog place, and you’ll always find a bigger dog looking at you as if you’re his next meal. Go looking for the best in people, and you’ll be amazed at how much talent, ingenuity, empathy and good will you’ll find.
— The Go-Giver


If the topic of The Go-Giver interests you, enter here to win a copy. If you've read it, tell us what you think. Winner will be announced on April 4th.