Never Eat Alone

Book Review: Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, Book Reviews

A couple of weeks ago, I went to pick up the mail and there was a package waiting. It was rather large, but relatively light in weight. However, the contents was anything but lightweight!

The package turned out to be a gift basket from a company with whom I am affiliated, and it was sent in celebration of my reaching a significant milestone on their “success plan” for our relationship. Besides various food items, there were some items that had to do with success – a small deck of cards to open with appropriate quotations, and this book by Keith Ferrazzi. Now don’t get me wrong, my spouse and I are enjoying the snacks – but I have “devoured” this book! And it is wonderful.

It has taken me some time to learn what networking really is about – and that’s because there are so many misconceptions of what networking is. And as many folks as you ask or who give you their advice without asking, that’s how many different takes you will get about networking. Oh, if only I had read this book about four years ago! I would have saved a great deal of effort on false starts. Ferrazzi lays out the real deal in an entertaining and comfortable style. This book lives up to the promise of “How to build a lifelong community of colleagues, contacts, friends and mentors.”

Take a look at the table of contents and you will see how “to the point” Ferrazzi is in this book: Don’t Keep Score, What’s your mission?, Build it before you need it, The genius of audacity, Do your homework, Take names, Warming the cold call, Managing the gate keeper – artfully, Be interesting, Balance is B.S. and Welcome to the connected age are just a few of the chapter headings. Each of the chapters is short and concise. And to make things even more interesting, Ferrazzi throws in an occasional “Connectors’ Hall of Fame Profile.” This little sidebar highlights someone who Ferrazzi believes exemplifies in a particularly striking way the point he is trying to make about networking. For example he featured Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Dale Carnegie – just to mention a few.

There are, of course, suggestions or examples which are just not your style or perhaps out of your range financially, but that should not keep you from applying the principle and still be authentic in your work. By and large though, the suggestions and concepts in this excellent book are within grasp for all of us. We just need to put in the effort. As I’ve said before, “It’s netWORKING, not netTAKE IT EASY.” It takes effort to build a great network of colleagues, friends, mentors and mentees; just like anything else we undertake in business and in life.

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