Book Review: Getting Naked

January 29, 2019
Jones & Roth - Book Review

Getting Naked is a book in Patrick Lencioni’s fable series. While maybe not quite as exciting as the title would suggest, it provides an excellent ideology pertaining to consulting that could be applied on many levels, and certainly in more areas than consulting. As with the other books in his fable series, Lencioni uses a fictional story to present this ideology, and this method works well to keep a reader engaged at a level beyond what a textbook format would likely accomplish.

The title refers to vulnerability, and vulnerability is the heart of the Getting Naked ideology. Boiled down to that core piece, the high-level takeaway from this book is simply this: Allow yourself to be completely vulnerable to the client, which involves being humble, selfless, and transparent for the good of the client.

Lencioni argues that in order to accomplish this and truly embrace vulnerability, we must overcome three fears:

  1. Fear of losing the business (such as by making a mistake and losing the client)
  2. Fear of being embarrassed (such as by asking a dumb question)
  3. Fear of feeling inferior (regarding our perception of our level of standing and importance in the eyes of the client)

The book walks through several concepts and things that should be done in order to shed these fears.

Among my personal favorites, was the idea one should consult instead of sell. The gist being that rather than telling clients what we can do for them, we should simply start doing it. By showing them this value instead of telling them about it, we are essentially giving away service in the beginning. This allows us to show the value we can bring immediately to our clients, and the rest should take care of itself.

I also really embraced the concept of being transparent about our limitations and weaknesses, and celebrating our mistakes when they occur. By removing ego from these situations and allowing ourselves to be truly vulnerable, we can develop better trust and stronger relationships with clients as well as supervisors and coworkers.

I highly recommend Getting Naked to anybody working in consulting or professional services.

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