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Getting Naked - a book review

Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes

Relax, this isn't the life of a nudist.

I have however just finished reading a fantastic book Getting Naked written by Patrick Lencioni.

When my business partner Brian suggested I read it, I looked at the title and enthusiastically dived right in.  Much to my wife’s relief I didn’t come away with a new philosophy on how to dress. However I was challenged by the insights on how to build stronger relationships, both at a personal and a business level.

Getting Naked is a counter intuitive look at how we can relate to others.  Our culture tells us to always project strength and confidence.  Avoid showing weakness at all costs.

However, when it comes to building strong relationships, an important step is to leave our ego at the door and put ourselves in a position of weakness, and allow someone to demonstrate that they will support us.

Patrick has written the book in a story fashion using a fable of a consulting firm.  It is a very easy read and short enough that you can easily knock it out over a weekend. 

The book looks at overcoming 3 fears that consultants have, and I believe that these are in fact largely applicable to everyone who deals with others. The 3 fears are;

  1. Fear of losing the business
  2. Fear of being embarrassed
  3. Fear of feeling inferior

Patrick gives practical examples of how to overcome each of these fears.  In doing so, you will need to become vulnerable/naked, but by going through such a process you build strong lasting relationships and from a business perspective you will ultimately thrive.

Some of the suggestions made include the following;

  • Consult, don’t sell – be happy to give away business right away rather than trying to sell to a client, and show them things your may be able to do for them.
  • Tell the kind Truth – be prepared to tell your client hard truths, even if you think they will not like to hear it, But do it with empathy.
  • Ask dumb questions – if you don’t understand, ask the question rather than try to give the impression that you know what a client is talking about.
  • Make dumb suggestions – don’t be afraid to suggest left of field ideas, even if some of them turn out to be not relevant. By doing so you will uncover some gems.
  • Honour the clients work – show an interest on what your client is into. If you can’t show enthusiasm for their work, perhaps you are not the right person to help that client.
  • Do the dirty work – be prepared to do menial tasks at times.

If you are a business owner can you relate to the 3 fears outlined above?

I know I do.  If you are interested in building stronger relationships, both in business and your personal life then I highly recommend that you add Getting Naked to your library.


Getting Naked is about being vulnerable. It will ultimately build better relationships.
Want an advisor who'll be there for the journey? Contact Clifton Accountants now.

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