It’s Not About You : More than a Business Story

It was a great pleasure to read The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann three years back. The book conveyed?Five Principles of Stratospheric Success. The book was marvelous and reminded us of the principles which we all knew but somehow thought were not relevant in today’s cut-throat competition where one need to be go-getter. I posted My Blogpost about the Book three years back on my blog. The book had a?great impact?and when I knew these wonderful authors are coming up with thier new book, I was very excited to read it.

After waiting for 15 days, it was here. In my hand, my own copy of “It’s Not About You“. The title of book is “It’s Not About You : A Little Story About What Matters Most in Business”, but it should be “A Little Story About What Matters Most in Life”. Yes, the title of book says it all, Business as well as Life is not about you. Not about leader, its about others. It’s about People around you and that’s what we miss by being go-getter.

Although book gives principles of leadership in form of ‘Ben’s Menifesto’, but I consider it a book which goes beyond words. Rather than just giving some principles of leadership, it gives a new concept about leadership, a new way to look at leadership. So dont get caught in the principles, look at the broader concept these principles try to highlight. As Osho said ?”When I point my finger to moon, dont look at my finger, look at moon. My finger is not moon.”

Earlier with ‘The Go Giver‘ and now with ‘It’s Not About You‘, Bob and John?are sharing with all of us a new way of living. For Example, Ben learned?about ‘Influence’:

  1. The best way to increase your influence is to give it away.
  2. The Substance of influence is pull…… not push.
  3. Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.”?
  4. The moment you begin thinking that it’s all about you, that you’re the deal, is the moment you begin losing your capacity to positively influence others’ lives.”

As in their last book, they are highlighting the principles which are so?obvious?yet so overlooked.?This time also they tell it through such an engaging story that it conveys their ideas beyond the words. The story is illustrated in such a narrative way that you feel you are there with Ben and you want to see him succeed. That’s the most important thing about this book, when you feel like being part of the story, you get the principles beyond just words, you get the whole concept.?Bob and John are master story tellers. It is a perfect story with all emotions that keeps you involved yet never loses its way in conveying the very essentials. Ben’s conversation with his son ‘Robbie’, his visit to Phoebe’s Grand Mother, Aunt Elle asking Ben if he has lost someone, there are numerous places where you will feel its more than a management book, its about Life.

There is a lot?I can write about this book, but as I said, this book tries to?convey something beyond words and I will not be able to convey much unless you read it yourself. Before I leave you with some of my favourite parts of this book, I will Congratulate My?Great Friends Bob and John for?again?writing such a master piece.?I will suggest you read it yourself, not any summary, the whole book from first page to last, if possible more than once. Again when you read, Dont get caught in Principles of Leadership, look at the bigger picture these principles are pointing to. Dont look at the finger, look at the moon.

Some of My Favourite Parts of Book:

“The Less you say, the more influence you’ll have.”

“The hard part isn’t the vision. Anyone can come up with a vision. The part is the holding. As a leader, your job is to hold fast to the big picture, to keep seeing in your mind’s eye, with crystal clarity, where it is you’re going-that place that right at this moment exists only in your mind’s eye. And to keep seeing that, even when nobody else does….. Especially when nobody else does”

“Give people something goog to live up to – something great – and they usually will. In fact, often they’ll even exceed those expectations.”

“You don’t have to be brilliant. The brilliant will take care of itself. You just need to do the work. And not only because it needs doing,?but also because that’s?the only way you’ll generate real respect.”

“Self respect is?where every other kind of respect comes from. Respect from others is a?reflection, not the source.”

“People will only trust someone when they know where he stands. Where do you?stand??And what do you?stand for?”

“Life leaves a mark. None of us passes through the experiece of our days unblemished or pristine. We all suffer tragedies and disappointments, struggles and failures. Losses great and small, and every one of them hurts. We can try to cover it up, although if we do, we just tend to grow bitter on the inside. Or, we can embrace who we are – that is, who we are in the process of becoming. Embrace the hurt and it deepens you, makes you a richer person. Deny, reject, hold it at bat, fight it off, and it simply hardens you. Either way, it engraves itself onto your soul.”

“Whatever great parenting looks like, it is not about the parent. Great teaching is not about the teacher. Great coaching is not about the coach. And great leadership is not about …………”

– Gaurav Sangtani


  1. Bob Burg says:

    Guarav, what an amazing review. You have honored John David Mann and me greatly via your very kind words. And, you certainly *got* the message we were trying to convey. Actually, this does not surprise me because you are the embodiment of these principles. Again, thank you so very, very much!!


  2. gauravsangtani says:

    Thanks Bob…. It’s pleasure to read such a great book…. 🙂


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