Book review _ Never eat alone by Keith Ferrazzi
Computer programming requires some very intricate work. It takes hours upon hours of writing, testing and debugging. This is why it thrives on team work. Without team work, a single program can take decades to complete. So do every other IT project. That’s why I am trying to write you as much reviews as I can on teamwork and communication books. In this article I am resuming and reviewing Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi.
Never eat alone’s major premise is that the idea of rugged individualism, being a lone wolf and succeeding on your own is a myth. Instead, Ferrazzi argues, every success you get should be built off the help and relationships of others. The book breaks networking down into components starting from preparation to benefits and follow-up, peppering the whole text with dozens of examples from the author’s personal experience throughout his career.
+ You might like the exactness of Ferrazzi’s writing. As apart from the mindset part, which every personal development book over-contains, the author went through and provided direct, actionable steps along with process, details, and tools to manage a growing network.
± What you possibly wont like about the book is that apart from the short one-page profiles of people who are particularly good at building relationships quickly, there are no anecdotes, case studies or researches used to “prove” or explain what you’re reading. Also, Ferrazzi went way too far on sharing his personal experiences, almost every idea is explained by a ‘when I..’ sentence, which I found a bit boring.
1- The mindset
The first section of the book lays out the basic idea and explains some of the things you should and shoudn’t do. I also see it as the Why part of the game. It “sets your mind” to why you’d want to build a network.The author tells that networking is largely useless unless you have goals, which the book defines as a “dream with a deadline”. Though, he warns that you should “build it before you need it” , you should begin reaching out to others and building your network of contacts before you need anything from them.The author ends this section with the idea that the how of networking starts with being a geniunely audacious person.
We need one another more than ever. And this isn’t sentiment, it’s science.
2 – The skill set
Section two is the gist of the book. It’s about the how of networking. Every chapter of this section is full of priceless tips on how to connect to others, starting from “doing your homework” by defining who the people you wish to meet are, what their interests are, what they do, and especially what things you might have in common with them. To “taking names” when you actually do meet them, and getting their contact info. And “warming the cold call” if you ever had to call someone for business purposes.
Our challenge these days is to figure out, in the mass of contacts we’ve collected, which ones matter.
The author suggests you work as hard as you can to stay on the good side of administrative assistants, or “the gatekeepers” as he calls them. This section also contains a chapter with the book’s name, here you’ll learn that if you’re eating alone, you’re missing out on an opportunity to connect with someone.
Building a network of friends and colleagues is about building relationships and friendships. It should be fun, not time-consuming. When your network is set, your goals written down, you’ll find plenty of hours during the day to do what needs to be done.
Inviting people to share in something that you’re passionate about is, according to the author, a key to building stronger connections with them. I personally fully agree on that. Whatever it is that gets your fire going, share it with those that you want to build a relationship with. Other valuable practical tips are provided in this section, such as maximizing your presence in confrences, connecting to the connectors, and expanding your circles. But the most important one is still the ” follow up ” on any connection you make that you feel is important. Ferrazzi sees that if you miss on the follow up, you miss on it all.
In building a network, remember: Above all, never, ever disappear.
3 – Turning connections into compatriots
Once you get “how” to build relationships and make connections in sections two, you get to learn about building upon those connections and turning them into people that you can rely on for a lifetime. The first chapter on this section, chapter 18, tell you that personal and financial health and the benefit of children are often direct keys to a person’s heart. If you are able to help someone out in one of these three areas, then you are able to endear yourself to that person and establish a really fantastic and deep connection with them.
When you help someone through a health issue, positively impact someone’s personal wealth, or take a sincere interest in their children, you engender life-bonding loyalty.
Other intresting techniques are presented in this section, among which you’ll find the act of pinging all the time, to keep a connection and make it last. Building connections in as many different areas as possible and it’s importance. And connecting to the connectors, people who have a wide circle of contacts, in order to expand yours.
When it comes to relationship maintenance, you have to be on your game24/7, 365 days a year.
4 – Connecting in the digital age
The age of the internet affords many ways to make connections easier and also affords a lot of ways to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Still, it’s a double edge weapon. When it comes to social media, wether you use it, or it uses you.
People these days live in their news feeds… This has never been more important, because here is the thing you can be sure of when it comes to your next customer or connection: Their eyes are on their feed.
Ferrazzi talks about mastering the content you share online to gain the trust of your audiance, going big or turning the volume up, all in being distinguish with who follows you, who you follow, what you consume and what you present.
What we’re talking about is content, the one true vehicle for building trust online. Articles, blog posts, profiles, status updates_every bit and byte that’s produced and associated with you and your name adds up to something.
5 – Trading up and giving back
The final section of Never eat alone is about specific techniques for strengthening your overall circle, mostly by making yourself more valuable to them. For, its first chapter is named ‘Be intresting‘ . It brievely tells that no one wants to spend time around a boring person.
Powerfull content communicated in a compelling story can energize your network to help you achieve your mission.
You’ll also find a chapter on building your brand, where Ferrazzi goes beyond merely making yourself interesting into figuring out exactly what value you have for others. What do you bring to the table that others don’t? Once you figure that out, start ‘broadcasting your brand’, in other words, spreading the word around about the image you want to cultivate.
As a marketing professional, I am keenly aware that perception drives reality, and that we are all, in some sens, brands.
The rest of this section contains ideas about being involved with political fundraisers, attending conferences, joining nonprofit boards, and playing some golf as a way to ‘connect with those who have decision-making power‘. Writing stuff down and it’s importance. Joining clubs and organizations and how it’s a great way to meet new people from areas that you may have nothing at all to do with.
I recommand Never eat alone for all professionals regardless of their work field. But specific recommandations would go to either new professionals, or people who are struggling with communication or in other words enjoying introvertion.
In general it’s a good reading, it ends up changing your mindset and your behaviour to a good communicator’s .