Friday, April 10
Book Review: Never Eat Alone
Those are the three main points author Keith Ferrazzi drills into your skull, but he uses a few more words, and couple hundred more pages. Everybody in your life is an important networking contact, from your garbage man to your employer's president. Never be a phony; always be yourself. Don't schmooze only the people you think are important or powerful and likely to advance your career. Don't piss on your underlings or step on your peers to climb higher up the ladder. And last but not least, always come to the party offering to give something first, don't start out by asking for something, and don't expect reciprocation.
Ferrazzi is a fine writer, and he peppers his words of wisdom with entertaining self-deprecating stories of learning from his mistakes. The book makes it sound like the only thing he does all day is make phone calls, send e-mails, and throw dinner parties, non-stop. That sounds like a career in itself to me, and in his case (books, speaking, consulting, etc.) I believe it is. That doesn't leave much free time to focus on your main career, for those of us who have jobs other than full-time networking. But, it's a good eye-opener to the means and method of those who are well-connected. I'm sure I'll cherry pick a few of his techniques (that I'm not already doing) and I'll be a better person for it. My only real gripe with the book is the same with most books: too many words. He could have got his message across in a fraction of the verbiage.