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Getting Naked: A Business Fable About…
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Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That…

by Patrick Lencioni

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Enjoyed this look at building loyalty through vulnerability. Some of my favorite quotes include:
“Vulnerability. It is one of the most undervalued and misunderstood of all human qualities. Without the willingness to be vulnerable, we will not build deep and lasting relationships in life. That’s because there is no better way to earn a person’s trust than by putting ourselves in a position of unprotected weakness and demonstrating that we believe they will support us. “
“Yet society encourages us to avoid vulnerability, to always project strength, confidence, and poise. Although this is certainly advisable in some situations in life, when it comes to important, ongoing relationships, it stifles our ability to build trust. “
“For those who provide service to clients, vulnerability is particularly powerful. Those who get comfortable being vulnerable—or as I call it, naked—are rewarded with levels of client loyalty and intimacy that other service providers can only dream of. “
“At its core, naked service boils down to the ability of a service provider to be vulnerable—to embrace uncommon levels of humility, selflessness, and transparency for the good of a client.“
“As obvious as that may sound, it is more difficult than it seems, because humility and selflessness and transparency often entail suffering. And suffering is not something most human beings, especially in our modern culture, understand or welcome. Most of us live our lives trying to avoid awkward and painful situations, which is why it is no surprise that we are susceptible to the three fears that prevent us from building trust and loyalty with our clients.”
#1: Fear Of Losing The Business
“Naked service providers refuse to be overly concerned about the possibility of losing a client or, for that matter, being undercompensated or having their ideas misappropriated by a client. In fact, they willingly put themselves in positions of exposure in each of these areas, knowing that by doing so they will earn the trust of their clients. They understand that in the end, more goodwill comes about even if there are setbacks along the way.”
#2: Fear Of Being Embarrassed
“Naked service providers are so concerned about helping a client that they are willing to ask questions and make suggestions even if those questions and suggestions could turn out to be laughably wrong. They readily admit what they don’t know and are quick to point out—even to celebrate—their errors because protecting their intellectual ego is not important to them.”
#3: Fear Of Feeling Inferior
“It is completely natural for service providers to yearn for respect and admiration, and to have a disdain for being overlooked, condescended to, or treated as though we are inferior. And so it is no surprise that, as consultants, we try to achieve and preserve a certain level of standing and importance in the eyes of our clients. But sometimes we forget that the word ‘service’ shares the same root meaning as ‘servant’ and even ‘subservience.’”
Always Consult Instead Of Sell
“Naked service providers transform every sales situation into an opportunity to demonstrate the value of what they do. They avoid, as much as possible, telling clients what they would do if they were to be hired; instead, they just start serving them as though they were already a client. And they don’t worry about whether the potential client will take advantage of their generosity; they know that for every client that does, nine others will appreciate their generosity and start to see themselves as a client even before they formally decide to become one.” ( )
  dannywahlquist | May 14, 2013 |
Great statements and illustrations about being vulnerable ( )
  mikestacey6 | May 7, 2010 |
Fantastic bedtime story from a guy you feel like you know and trust (if that's OK to say about a book called Getting Naked). One reason you relate to and remember the lessons without writing them down. Make the tea first, you will read this in one sitting. Reads like The Alchemist, in that it is a self described fable but with the core theme of Emo-nomics or should I say Ego-nomics as it deals with reconciling human nature (vulnerability) in corporate culture. Falls back into life lessons a bit and affirmation, or rather 'allows' you to. Like a foreign correspondent on the evening news wearing a suit & tie & boxers on a balcony in Beirut, you become embedded. Refreshingly Non preachy. Read Getting Naked in tandem with Change by Design as both are rooted in religious reverence (one for his wife and the other for himself, respectively) and balance each other like a feather and an anvil..... with a very lopsided balance beam. He ain't heavy, he's my author :-J ( )
  bookworx | Mar 13, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0787976393, Hardcover)

Written in the same dynamic style as his previous bestsellers including The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Lencioni illustrates the principles of inspiring client loyalty through a fascinating business fable. He explains the theory of vulnerability in depth and presents concrete steps for putting it to work in any organization. The story follows a small consulting firm, Lighthouse Partners, which often beats out big-name competitors for top clients. One such competitor buys out Lighthouse and learns important lessons about what it means to provide value to its clients.

Amazon Exclusive: Q&A with Patrick Lencioni

Q: Why do you use the term naked and where does it come from?
A: Naked consulting is a term that refers to the idea of being vulnerable with clients, being completely open and honest with no sense of pretense or cover. The concept comes from the approach that we adopted more than a decade ago to work with our clients at The Table Group. We help CEOs and their teams build healthy organizations, and we found that by being completely transparent and vulnerable with clients, we built levels of trust and loyalty that blew us away.

Q: What makes naked service different from the way most people provide service?
A: So many service providers and consultants feel the need to demonstrate that they have the right answers and that they don’t make mistakes. Not only do clients see this as inauthentic, they often feel that they are being condescended to and manipulated. We’ve found that what clients really want is honesty and humility.

Q: What are the three fears?
A: People spend most of their lives trying to avoid awkward and painful situations –which is why it is no surprise that we are all susceptible to the three fears that sabotage client loyalty. They include:

1) Fear of Losing the Business – No service provider wants to lose clients or revenue. Interestingly, it is this very notion that prevents many service providers from having the difficult conversations that actually build greater loyalty and trust. Clients want to know that their service providers are more interested in helping succeed in business than protecting their revenue source.

2) Fear of Being Embarrassed – This fear is rooted in pride. No one likes to publicly make mistakes, endure scrutiny or be embarrassed. Naked service providers are willing to ask questions and make suggestions even if those questions and suggestions turn out to be laughably wrong. Clients trust naked service providers because they know that they will not hold back their ideas, hide their mistakes, or edit themselves to save face.

3) Fear of Being Inferior – Similar to the previous fear, this one is rooted in ego. Fear of being inferior is not about being intellectually wrong (as in Fear of being Embarrassed) it is about preserving social standing with the client. Naked service providers are able to overcome the need to feel important in the eyes of their client and basically do whatever a client needs to help the client improve – even if that calls for the service provider to be overlooked or temporarily looked down upon.

Q: What is the impact of naked service on a firm’s bottom line?
A: Consulting or service firms that practice the naked approach will find it easier to retain clients through greater trust and loyalty. That is the first and most obvious benefit. But they’ll also be able to attract clients better because naked service begins before a client actually becomes a client. It allows firms to be more open, more generous and less desperate in the sales process, and creates great differentiation from more traditional sales approaches. Finally, firms that practice the naked approach will attract and retain the right kind of consultants and professionals who yearn for an honest, natural way of working, both with clients and with one another.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:16 -0400)

Lencioni illustrates the principles of inspiring client loyalty through a business fable. He explains the theory of vulnerability in depth and presents concrete steps for putting it to work in any organization. The story follows a small consulting firm, Lighthouse Partners, which often beats out big-name competitors for top clients. One such competitor buys out Lighthouse and learns important lessons about what it means to provide value to its clients. Offers a key resource for gaining competitive advantage in tough times: Shows why the quality of vulnerability is so important in business; Includes ideas for inspiring customer and client loyalty...… (more)

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