John and I are often asked if – since we titled our book The Go-Giver – being a “go-getter” is a bad thing to be? Not at all. In fact, absolutely not. Being a go-getter is terrific. Go-getters are generally people who make things happen, who get things done. They take action and, as you know, without action, nothing happens. (Years ago, there was an excellent book written by Peter B. Kyne entitled The Go-Getter. One of my favorites.)
The key is, while being a go-getter, to have a go-giver’s heart, which many go-getters do have. In other words, being one does not exclude also being the other. (Thinking it does is another example of what John calls the “treacherous dichotomy,” that often false belief of something having to one or the other. Of course, there are indeed times this is so; this just isn’t one of them.)
Actually, the opposite of a go-giver is not a go-getter. The opposite of a go-giver is a go-taker, that person who feels almost entitled to take, take, take without having provided value — to the other person, to the relationship, to the process, etc. We’ve all known our share of these people, and they can be good people. But they often wonder why, though they work hard and strive for success, they rarely attain it to the level feel they deserve. And, even when they do, it’s typically short-lived.
In the story, Joe is described at first as a go-getter who’s frustrated with his lack of success. However, at first, he’s a go-getter with a go-taker’s heart. As the story progresses and he learns and embraces the Five Laws, and, just as importantly, takes immediate action on those laws, he transforms beautifully into a person who’s still a go-getter; he’s still a person of action but now he has heart of a go-giver. And that makes all the difference.