Book Review: Getting Naked

Getting Naked: A Business Fable about shedding the three fears that sabotage client loyalty, written by Patrick Lencioni, is a quick read that presents its lessons in an interesting format.  As the title of the book indicates, it’s a “Business Fable,” and the author’s premises are shared within the context of a story about a high-powered management consultant that must attempt to integrate a newly acquired consulting firm with his.  The firms involved share wildly different operational philosophies and the narrator undergoes a significant transformation as he spends time getting to know the new firm and its employees.

While the book is primarily targeted at consultants, its lessons can easily be applied to anyone in a service role, and really, that means all of us.  Even if you don’t operate in a service capacity at work, you inherently serve others in your personal life, one way or another.

Lencioni is an accomplished figure in business, one of the most sought-after speakers in the country, and this book is largely about his own firm, The Table Group.  He has published a host of other titles, the most popular of which focus on the function or dysfunction of teams.

One of the fears Lencioni believes must be shed in order to be effective in service is the ‘Fear of Feeling Inferior.’  To deal with this fear, he suggests four key behaviors that a service provider enact:

1 – Take a bullet for the client

2 – Make everything about the client

3 – Honor the client’s work

4 – Do the dirty work

The author does not refer to any particular business or management theory, but I drew a strong correlation between the above behavioral principles and the concepts of Servant Leadership.  This book would be a good addition to the reading list of anyone interested in Servant Leadership.  The presentation of the material in story form makes it surprisingly refreshing.  If you have a couple hours to spare, I’d recommend reading this.  The story format was captivating enough that I read it from cover to cover in one sitting.

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