Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty – Patrick Lencioni
Patrick Lencioni is a New York Times best-selling business author of eight books including The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and The Three Signs of a Miserable Job.
In Getting Naked, Lencioni explains the power of vulnerability in-depth and presents concrete steps for putting it to work in your business. The story follows a small consulting firm which often beats out big-name competitors for top clients. One competitor buys out the company and learns important lessons about what it means to provide value to its clients.
Throughout the novel, Lencioni preaches a business model that may seem antithetical to many, which he calls “getting naked”: being unafraid to show vulnerability, admit ignorance, and ask the dumb questions when dealing with clients. Lencioni’s central argument is that by focusing on sales, rather than communication, consultants miss the key part of their job -consulting- and therefore lose out on valuable long-term client relationships.
It discusses how people spend their lives avoiding awkward situations and in doing so, they can sabotage the construction of client loyalty. Leoncioni says that the three fears we often have that lead to this awkwardness are:
- Fear of Losing the Business which drives us to censor feedback and avoid difficult issues.
- Fear of Being Embarrassed which impedes our ability to provide open, honest insights to save face.
- Fear of Feeling Inferior which makes us feel as though we must preserve our social standing with the client at all costs.
The book is informative and carries a message throughout that really sticks. Straightforward and widely applicable, Lencioni’s advice is really for anyone trying to build long-term client relationships.
For me, Getting Naked reiterates that there is real value in being open and honest with people, even those you’re trying to impress.
Have there been instances where you’ve remained closed-off from a client out of fear? Let us know in the comments section below!