Keith Ferrazzi in “Never Eat Alone” describes the intense mode of networking he learned as a teenager and employed to become CMO of several high profile companies. Ferrazzi’s premise is that in the world of highly-successful people, people help each other all the time—providing contacts, jobs, mentoring and helping each others’ kids as well.
Craig’s belief is that we don’t become accomplished without the help of other people–the true state of things is that we are strong when we recognize our inter-dependence with other people. When we are generous with our time, money and connections…others reciprocate and success follows.
The funniest part of this book is that Ferrazzi uses every free minute to “ping” people by phone, email or text message when he’s not meeting them in person for lunch, dinner or workouts. He’s even gone to church with business contacts. He says he has thousands of people in his network that he regularly keeps in contact with.
He has his friends and colleagues catalogued in Outlook by location, profession, and industry or something like that. He contacts each person in his closest network on their birthday and carries with him weekly print-outs of who he is contacting that week.
I’m recommending this book because it really made me want to network more. He was clearly having so much fun and success…living life as a committed networker. Also, this book is not dry…but a smooth, lively read.
I found the concept of “building a network before you need it” inspiring. In his example, he was interested in breaking into the entertainment industry in the future. He started meeting with friends of friends who work in that industry. He also joined organizations with people who work in the industry.
His approach sounds both strategic and authentic. Reasonably strategic because he is seeking out people who have shared interests and similar goals. Authentic in that he is building real relationships with people he likes and genuinely helping those around him to make connections and achieve their goals.
Let me know what you think.