Bob Burg on Becoming a Person of Value

I asked Bob Burg if he felt like a success; it’s a slippery topic that requires definition so we slipped back into how he defined it.

At first Bob talked goals. “On the most basic level, success could be achieving a tangible goal, but of course it goes much deeper than that.”

Then Bob quoted, Earl Nightingale, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” Trajectory rather than arrival makes this definition more satisfying. Progress, also makes this definition slippery. We continued talking about success and ultimately landed on a definition Bob fully embraces.

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Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming,” John Wooden. Bob spoke of success as living up to potential. This definition is the slipperiest of all. So I asked Bob, “How are you doing with your potential?” He brought up Einstein.

“Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.” Bob said he didn’t think Einstein actually said the quote because it identifies success with only money.

Bob explained, “Reaching my potential is becoming a person of value.” So I asked, “How are you becoming a person of value?”

He talked to me about encouragement. His dad encouraged people; that’s what Bob wants to do. The obvious question, “How can we encourage?”

Burg’s six ways to encourage others:

  1. Envision their potential.
  2. Help them define and reach their goals.
  3. Communicate you believe in them, with an emphasis on communicating. It’s not enough to feel a thing, you must communicate it.
  4. Positive expectations without attachment.
  5. Highlight the good. Bob said, “My dad knew how to make others feel good about themselves.”
  6. Correct in ways that don’t create defensiveness. Correct with appreciation.

How do you define success?

What are you doing to achieve success according to your own definition?


Part one of my conversation with Bob: “Bob Burg on Life and Leadership

Part two of my conversation with Bob: “Finding Freedom While Developing Leaders


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