It’s Not About You: A Little Story About What Matters Most in Business

At last week’s virtual Big Impact Celebration party, Bob Burg gave us a preview of his Make an Impact LIVE! talk, Influence and Persuasion The Go-Giver Way. He addressed the difference between influence, persuasion, and manipulation.

One of the most retweeted highlights of Bob’s advice: “Manipulation ends in control not cooperation.”

Bob walked us through the specific, basic steps of persuading someone who opposes our ideas. Here are some of his tips.

  1. Respond. Don’t react. Do what you need to do to develop a practice of taking a breath and building in some space between what someone says to you … and what you say back.
  2. Ask “why?” Why might the other person be opposing your idea? You won’t move toward resolution until you look at the situation through the other person’s eyes.
  3. Listen. What is the other person saying – both spoken and nonverbal? Hear them out fully so you can identify their needs and concerns.
  4. Empathize. We humans have a strong desire to be heard and acknowledged. Letting someone know that you “get them” will allow another step toward finding consensus.

Bob broke down the word responsible in a memorable way. When we’re complaining about how others won’t do something we want them to do – they’re not being responsible – we need to ask if we are doing what we can to make them response-able. Are we supporting them so that they are in a position to respond with positive action? What a great question for leaders to ask themselves.

Bob also emphasized a point that often is overlooked in the area of influence: Know what you have to offer.

You must own your expertise. You must own the value that you bring to others. You must own your solutions as relief for the problems being experienced by your clients or customers. If you don’t have confidence in what you have to offer, you won’t be effective in persuading others to work with you.

On the call, Bob previewed his new book, It’s Not About You: A Little Story About What Matters Most in Business (coauthored with John David Mann). I was fortunate to read a pre-release copy of this gem.

Written in the business parable style of their international bestseller, The Go-Giver, the story is woven around some familiar and some new characters who will touch your heart and show you how to be the leader and influencer you’re capable of becoming.

This book expands on the Law of Influence and brings it to life through one of my new fictional mentors, Aunt Elle.

Here are just a few tidbits of Aunt Elle’s wisdom:

“Competence is simply the baseline, the thing that puts you in the game. It matters, but honestly, it’s a dime a dozen. Character, though. Character is that rare, precious gem, and anyone who possesses it is worth a great deal to the world around him.”

“You can lead only as far as you grow. And you will grow only as far as you let yourself.”

“It’s not that what you say isn’t important. It is. That’s just not where the source of your power lies.”

“People who achieve great things that the world will never forget, start out by accomplishing small things that the world will never see.”

“What you have to give, you offer least of all through what you say; in greater part through what you do; but in greatest part through who you are.”

Get out your highlighter and start marking up your favorite passages. The book is available at amazon beginning today!

Listen in to hear more of Bob’s wisdom here.

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Leave A Reply (6 comments So Far)

  • Bob Burg

    WOW, Dr. Mollie. Thank you so much for your very kind article and encouraging words about last week’s program, and John David Mann’s and my new book. You continually amaze me with your kindness and thoughtfulness!!

    • Well, thanks for giving me so much good stuff to share 🙂 Looking forward to you bringing your wisdom — & a bit of Aunt Elle’s — to Chicago in October!

  • Bob:  Loved your first step when someone opposes your idea:  Respond. Don’t React.  Often times I think there’s that reaction because there’s a strong attachment to an idea.  Your fourth steps also addresses the attachment piece.  Great practical tips and reminders!  Thanks.

    • Bob Burg

      Thank you, Lisa. Coming from such a terrific communicator like you, your kind words mean a lot to me!

  • What a great summary, Dr. Mollie.  Although I was fortunate to be on the call, it’s really great to read these words and have it sink in even more.  Think I’m going to print it! 🙂

    • Glad this was helpful, Linda. I found myself taking notes during Bob’s good stuff presentation – made sense to share them! And It’s Not About You is such a great read. As you can tell, I’ve become quite fond of Aunt Elle 🙂