Meet Bob Burg. He is a Hall-of-Fame speaker and coauthor (with John David Mann) of the “Go-Giver” series of business parables including The Go-Giver, The Go-Giver Leader, and The Go-Giver Influencer. Total sales of all of Bob's books are well over a million copies. You can follow Bob on Twitter @BobBurg, learn more about him on his website at https://burg.com, and check out his books on his Amazon page at https://www.amazon.com/Bob-Burg/e/B001IGSYSK.
QUESTION: You recently Tweeted "For a true leader, getting results is more important than getting credit" That reminded me of a sign that President Ronald Reagan kept on his desk in the Oval Office, "There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." Do you have a work experience that resulted in your inspiring quote?
BOB BURG: Everything *about* my work experience has resulted in that quote because without the people I’ve had on my team throughout the years, I simply wouldn’t have been able to accomplish near what I have accomplished. Of course, I’ve also had a lot of failures, but those have been due to my not utilizing the strengths of those around me. But the successes? Indeed, it’s been with the support, ideas, help, suggestions, and actions of those around me. And not only is giving credit where it’s due the *right* thing to do (which is the most important aspect), it's also what continues to keep people on your side. After all, can there be anything more discouraging than putting your heart and soul into a team effort and then having the one in the public eye accepting all the credit. GROSS!
TWEET THIS: Not only is giving credit where it’s due the right thing to do, it's also what continues to keep people on your side. -@BobBurg #LeadershipTip
QUESTION: How can a President/CEO become an organization's number one brand ambassador?
BOB BURG: For the answer to this question, I consulted my great friend, Gary Campbell (@Impact2Lead on Twitter), an amazing (and award-winning!) leader and CEO of Lynchburg, Virginia-based Johnson Health Center. I believe that his response truly says it all:
"In order for a President/CEO to become an organization’s number one brand ambassador, she/he must be 100% committed and passionate about the products/services offered and lives that are touched throughout the process. This includes employees, customers, vendors, business partners, shareholders, stakeholders, etc. For example, when Tim Cook of Apple stands in front of the world to talk about the latest release in the Apple product line (and before him, Steve Jobs), you can sense the passion - and this connects people not only to the offering but to the CEO as well.
For me at Johnson Health Center and when I speak nationally in the federally qualified health center circles, there is no confusion of the brand that our health center promotes – an exceptional place to work that has promoted unprecedented growth while providing great care as shown from year over year improved outcomes. I believe in the purpose and my ‘why' drives the passion around our brand. In my community, people see me, they also see Johnson Health Center, and when they see Johnson Health Center, they see me."
QUESTION: What are three things a President/CEO can do to establish a corporate culture that all employees will enthusiastically follow?
BOB BURG: Here are my three.
1. Create/Cast the vision. While that is two things, please allow me to include both because I believe that in order to effectively cast that vision, it must be created with help and buy-in from as many people as possible. How many will somewhat depend on the timing, the context, and the unique situation itself. Is the President/CEO starting from scratch or having to turn around an unhealthy and dysfunctional culture, etc.?
2. Hold the vision. Really, anyone can come up with a vision. That’s the easy part. The hard part is the *holding.* Keep seeing in your mind’s eye where it is that you (and your entire team) are going, even when nobody else does. Make that, *especially* when nobody else does.
3. Live it. (See Gary Campbell’s response in previous question.) Before people will totally buy into your vision, they must first buy into *you.* And they’ll only buy into you to the degree that everything about you is congruent with that vision. They realize that the very embodiment of that culture is *who you are* and because it’s who you are, it’s what you do. And *that* they’ll enthusiastically follow.
QUESTION: I noticed that you include "Animal Lover" in your bio on Twitter. What do you think about "bring your pet to work" days, and how can they improve the overall employee experience?
BOB BURG: I’m all for it! LOL! Seriously, it can improve the overall employee experience because our pets are part of us, and to know they are welcome says…*you* are welcome.
QUESTION: What is your favorite book, and why?
BOB BURG: Ahhh, so many books - so little time. Very difficult to answer that question as there are lots of books that have added to my life in significant and positive ways. Perhaps the most important one (in my opinion) in terms of overall success (personal and business) is The Secret of Selling Anything by Harry Browne. Written in the mid-1960’s and published posthumously (originally in a paperback edition) in 2008 after his widow found the two small manuscripts, it was sold to an independent publisher who titled it and introduced it to the public. And those who’ve read it are much better off as a result. Much more than just a book on sales, it’s really a book on understanding human nature and working effectively within that context in order to obtain success both for yourself and for everyone whose lives you touch. To read a review on the book I published on my blog, here's the link: https://burg.com/2013/07/the-secret-of-selling-need-not-be-a-secret.
QUESTION: What book should every leader read, and why?
BOB BURG: Again, so many that choosing one for me is almost an exercise in futility. If I can only recommend one, it will be Everybody Matters by Bob Chapman & Raj Sisodia. The Chair & CEO of Barry Wehmiller, a large St. Louis, Missouri-based manufacturing company, Mr. Chapman embodies everything great about what a leader should be. And he’s created a culture like few other leaders have. Most importantly, his book illustrates that when you treat people right and genuinely create a sense of family and belonging, your company’s profitability will soar.
QUESTION: One of my favorite leadership quotes is from author and consultant Mark Herbert (@NewParadigmer on Twitter): "Leadership doesn't require you to be the smartest person in the room. It requires you to block and tackle for others." What does that quote mean to you?
BOB BURG: That’s a fantastic quote by Mark! It highlights, really, what leadership is actually all about. Once the vision/mission/culture/ has been established, now the leader is there strictly to serve their team members. Sometimes that means simply getting the heck out of the way and letting them do what they do best. Other times, it means (as Mark so aptly put it) blocking and tackling, clearing the field for them. And, of course, other times coaching them through an issue. In a sense, great leadership is about creating the environment where those on your team can thrive. Because when they thrive…the sky’s the limit! Oh, and regarding the part about being “the smartest person in the room” I love what my friend, Dan Rockwell (a/k/a @LeadershipFreak on Twitter) says about this: “As a leader, if you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room.”
TWEET THIS: As a leader, if you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room. -@LeadershipFreak via @BobBurg #LeadershipTip
My gratitude and appreciation to Bob for appearing on my Blog and sharing his inspirational leadership insights. And don’t forget to add the Twitter voices mentioned in this Q&A to your Twitter stream: @BobBurg, @Impact2Lead, @LeadershipFreak, and @NewParadigmer.
Image Credit: Twitter and Bob Burg.