Who are Go-Givers?
We all know the word “go-getter”. We hear it all the time. We use this phrase to compliment people who are proactive and take actions towards achieving what they desire. But who are go-givers and what makes them so special?
If I were to explain this phrase, a go-giver is someone who focuses on giving instead of getting, who puts other people’s interests first, and who chooses to serve and to add value without any expectation on return.
I first came across the concept of “go-givers” a few years ago from a book called The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg. It was a significant discovery for me at that time not only because I finally found the phrase I’ve been looking for, but also because I recently graduated and was in desperate search for a sense of belonging. This magical and powerful phrase suddenly lit up my world and opened a whole new page of my self-awareness journey. I then started to identify myself more and more with the camp of go-givers and eventually found my values, purpose, and passion.
Givers vs. Go-Givers
Is a giver the same as a go-giver? I believe that givers include go-givers but not all givers are go-givers.
First of all, a giver is more frequently used in contrast to a taker. Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist, gave a brilliant TEDTalk not too long ago on “Are you a giver or a taker?”. He found out that people in organizations typically fall into three categories: takers, givers, and matchers. According to Adam, takers are “self-serving in their interactions who are all about “what can you do for me”. The opposite is a giver, who "approaches most interactions by asking “what can I do for you”. A matcher is someone in between who “tries to keep an even match of give and take”, namely, “I will do something for you if you do something for me”. Among 30,000 people he surveyed across industries and cultures around the world, 19% were takers, 25% were givers, and most people at 56% were matchers. The exciting news from his studies is that givers make the organizations better in every metric they could measure: higher profits, higher customer satisfaction, higher employee retention, and even lower operation expenses. Undoubtedly, there is a real need for givers, provided that the culture allows the givers to succeed.
Secondly, it takes a certain quality for a giver to become a go-giver. When you identify yourself as a giver, you need the drive to give to be strong enough that you actually take actions to create a positive impact, instead of sitting around and waiting for amazing things to happen. That's how you become a go-giver. In short, a go-giver is a proactive giver with the spirit of a go-getter.
For Business and Life
Being a go-giver is a lifestyle choice, a belief, an attitude, and a philosophy on which all your decisions are based. This is not only applicable to business practice; it is also true for our day-to-day life. When organizations allow givers to succeed, both the individual givers and the organizations thrive. When communities allow givers to utilize their power of giving, strong interpersonal relationships are fostered and all members are inspired.
I am a strong believer that if we wholeheartedly focus on giving, we will build a world with an abundance of beauty, love, and hope, both in business and in life. That is why it is encouraging to see more and more go-givers every day. They might not know it because although it can be an intrinsic part of their personality, it is sometimes cultivated later in life. Either way, go-givers actively give, add value to others and society at large, and truly try to make the world a better place.