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Far Reads Recap: "Getting Naked"

Getting Naked By Patrick Lencioni
This month’s
Far Reads book club pick was Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty” by Patrick Lencioni.

Who Selected It

Kelly Kimmich

Why She Selected It

“In the business world, there’s pressure to always have the right answer. The dilemma is what to do when you don’t. You have two options: 1) Be honest or 2) Give an answer—any answer—to save face. If you tell the truth, will people lose confidence in you? Or will they trust you even more for your candor? The answer is in this book."

What It’s About

Patrick Lencioni wants you to get naked.

Don't worry, you can keep your clothes on. He means being transparent and vulnerable with clients. (More on that in a moment.)

If you're already doing this—you're likely earning your clients' trust, respect, and loyalty. If you aren’t—you’re just another service provider or, even worse, their former service provider.

So what prevents us from baring it all? It’s fear. The fear of losing the business. The fear of being embarrassed. The fear of being inferior.

“Getting Naked” is a fable about the fear that holds us back and undermines client loyalty.

It’s also about how to shed those fears by applying the principals of naked service: 

  • Always consult instead of sell
  • Give away the business
  • Tell the kind truth
  • Enter the danger
  • Ask dumb questions
  • Make dumb suggestions
  • Celebrate your mistakes
  • Take a bullet for the client
  • Make everything about the client
  • Honor the client’s work
  • Do the dirty work
  • Admit your weaknesses and limitations

Our Favorite Quote

“And then it dawned on me. I was a salesman. Dick was just a consultant. He didn’t do any selling at all. Instead, he just went in there and started helping them.”

How We’re Applying What We Learned

Talk about getting naked. As an icebreaker, we went around the table and shared which of the three fears most applied to us and why. This started a great discussion.

The principle of naked service we discussed the most was “telling the kind truth,” which is associated with the fear of losing business.

The author says: “Naked service providers will confront a client with a difficult message, even when the client might not like hearing it. As a result, they put the relationship with the client at risk, knowing that it is more important to serve the client’s needs than it is to protect the service provider’s own business…and they present their counsel with kindness, empathy, and respect.”

The results so far: 

  • Our employees have been more confident about being open and honest with each other. That’s helped us arrive at solutions more quickly.
  • We’re also being more vulnerable and transparent with current and potential clients. We’ve found most of them appreciate the candor. And those who don’t probably aren’t the best fit for us anyway, and vice versa.

Next Month

Now it’s time to tackle next month’s book: "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries.