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Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time Hardcover – June 3, 2014
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"Your network is your net worth. This book shows you how to add to your personal bottom line with better networking and bigger relationships. What a solid but easy read! Keith's personality shines through like the great (and hip) teacher you never got in college or business school. Buy this book for yourself, and tomorrow go out and buy one for your kid brother!"
—Tim Sanders, author of Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends and leadership coach at Yahoo!
"Everyone in business knows relationships and having a network of contacts is important. Finally we have a real-world guide to how to create your own high-powered network tailored to your career goals and personal style."
—Jon Miller, CEO, AOL
“I’ve seen Keith Ferrazzi in action and he is a master at building relationships and networking to further the interests of an enterprise. He’s sharing his playbook for those who want learn the secrets of this important executive art.”
—Dr. Klaus Kleinfeld, CEO-designate, Siemens AG
“A business book that reads like a story—filled with personal triumphs and examples that leave no doubt to the reader that success in anything is built on meaningful relationships.”
—James H. Quigley, CEO, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP
"Keith has long been a leading marketing innovator. His way with people truly makes him a star. In Never Eat Alone, he has taken his gift and created specific steps that are easily followed, to achieve great success."
—Robert Kotick, Chairman and CEO, Activision
“Keith’s insights on how to turn a conference, a meeting, or a casual contact into an extraordinary opportunity for mutual success make invaluable reading for people in all stages of their professional and personal lives. I strongly recommend it."
—Jeffrey E. Garten, Dean, Yale School of Management
About the Author
TAHL RAZ has written for Inc. magazine, the Jerusalem Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and GQ. Raz lives in New York City.
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This book is so full of bragging and at the same time there is zero useful applicable information in it. The only people who might like this is someone that loves to brag and wants to be like Ferrazzi or one that never even heard the term networking.
Ferrazzi begins by laying out his experience with networking in the first section – but he doesn’t call it “networking.” Instead, Ferrazzi calls it “connecting.” He writes that “like business itself, being a connector is not about managing transactions, but about managing relationships.” He stresses that while some gather names and phone numbers just to add contacts to their list, the most beneficial way to connect is to share knowledge, resources, time, energy, friends, associates, empathy and compassion. By doing this, value is provided for these connections – and perhaps most importantly, your value is increased in their eyes as well.
This first section is a smooth and engaging introduction to the book. Ferrazzi’s conversational tone makes his suggestions easy to follow and understand. He writes often about his personal experiences with networking, which strengthens his argument of the importance of connecting. Without connections, he would not have made it to where he is now. His impressive education came out of the relationships he and his father developed with connections, which definitely drives home his argument.
Ferrazzi lays out how to actually make these connections in the second section. He writes that the first step to connecting with someone is to do your research. He suggests Googling them, reading their work history on LinkedIn, checking out their Twitter, and reading information about their company or work. The next step is getting their contact information. Ferrazzi suggests starting with those already in your network: relatives, current colleagues, customers and clients, neighbors, past connections from school, former teachers, etc. Ferrazzi writes, “the real challenge isn’t tracking anymore… Our challenge these days is to figure out, in the mass of contacts we’ve collected, which ones matter” (76). His approach to building a network is to reach out to those you already have relationships with, and to build on them.
This section is helpful, but nothing stood out as exceptionally different from other networking books. Networking is meeting people through other connections and cultivating relationships – Ferrazzi just stresses its importance in this section.
In the third section, Ferrazzi discusses building on these connections. He breaks down three motivations that he tends to find in people: making money, finding love, or changing the world. He says that “the only way to get people to do anything is to recognize their importance and thereby make them feel important” (175). He also emphasizes building connections in different areas, and being able to “parcel out as much information, contacts, and goodwill to as many people – in as many different worlds – as possible” (188). He highlights the importance of meeting people and connecting, but building on these connections and stretching them to all aspects of business and life.
This section is informative, but Ferrazzi’s reasoning seems manipulative. The purpose of networking is to gain value from those we connect with, but Ferrazzi seems to imply that the only reason to help others is because of the future benefit you may receive from them. For Ferrazzi, connecting with others is ultimately for your gain. His approach seems to disregard the fact that you might receive something other than just professional gain from helping someone.
The fourth section focuses on “Connecting in the Digital Age.” Ferrazzi tackles the wealth of knowledge and people that we have at our disposal because of technology. He writes that even though you can be bombarded with information on your social network, you can make use of the content by curating and structuring it to what you want to see, and what will help you. He also says that in sharing your content, you have to give people “something useful.” “Give them an article, a film trailer, a restaurant review. Something that allows for more communication than 140 characters, introduces them to something new, and gives them an action” (242-243).
This section is beneficial in laying out all the ways for you to make use of the technology at your fingertips. Instead of getting overwhelmed at the content on social networking sites, you can make use of it. Now, more than ever, taking advantage of technology is important in the professional world, and this portion of the book provides tools to help you do that.
The final section mostly provides techniques for strengthening your connection circle but also marketing yourself. As Ferrazzi wrote earlier in the book, “each of us is now a brand” (22). According to him, you have to be an expert with a unique point of view – you have to be interesting. Image and identity are just the start of your personal brand. With a network, your brand “establishes your worth” and “takes your mission and content and broadcasts it to the world” (291).
This chapter on personal branding – Chapter 26, “Build Your Brand” – was probably the most useful and informative out of the book. Ferrazzi discusses developing a personal branding message, “packaging” the brand (which involves appearance and style, and asking yourself how you wish to be seen), and broadcasting your brand. According to Ferrazzi, “the world is your stage… Look the part; live the part” (297).
Overall, Never Eat Alone is an informative networking book. Its main idea is innovative – connecting and sharing as opposed to just collecting important names in your network – compared to the majority of other networking books. Ferrazzi, in his conversational tone, makes the 376 pages go fast. The only downside to Ferrazzi’s approach is his push to do all of this – connect, share, network – just because in the end, it helps you advance the most. His method comes across as slightly egotistical, but it still provides you with helpful tips to connecting and branding yourself.
Ferrazzi covers a range of topics which are as relevant for those veterans in the workforce as those starting out. One item I found especially refreshing was the approach to networking. A buzzword these days, I see millenials and others "lunching" constantly and asking to join my LinkedIn or Facebook and then never hear from them again. Ferrazzi does an excellent job explaining that networking has to be about adding value to the other party and maintaining that relationship over time. Yes, we all leverage our networks to get things done. The point is to ensure it is a two way street.
I also found his discussion of how to get value from conferences extremely interesting. I had learned many of the lessons the hard way over the year but I had never heard them so well articulated- come prepared, understand your objectives, who do you want to meet, what are your intersect points, volunteer to help organize, understand the schedule and layout and finally, and most important, follow up.
This book is an excellent read and a marked up copy now sits on my core reference shelf. Whether you are starting out or a veteran, this is worth a read.
I also feel like this book has the same problem many of these types of books have, in that they do not acknowledge that the same tactics will not be as effective or inspiring for all people. In a vacuum, these tips are great advice. But in reality, the types of assertive and direct behavioral examples the author shares here can be a very white, male, educated, way to move through experiences, where people may be more willing to see that behavior through a different lens than they would if a woman or person of color did the same. So I think these types of books could really be improved by spending some time expanding their analysis of effectiveness of their behavioral frameworks in the context of privilege and identity.
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Néanmoins, je pense qu'il n'y a pas plus extraverti que Keith Ferrazzi, je me demande s'il lui arrive de passer 5 minutes à faire la vaisselle tout seul. Si vous n'êtes pas aussi extraverti (et riche) que Ferrazzi, un grand nombre de passages vont paraître compliqués à mettre en oeuvre.
En résumé: des chapitres excellents et universels qui côtoient des chapitres beaucoup moins utiles.
First, Ferrazzi claims a high level of general applicability, but underlines this mainly through personal experience and through anecdotes from his world. There are some stories of famous persons, but otherwise there is not a lot of external evidence, alternative perspective, or even a references section.
Second, some suggestions are certainly written with the best intentions, but have become ineffective today. I can't count the number of "Ferrazzi-style" emails and follow-up attempts I am getting every day. You bet that they are the first thing I am deleting and you bet that the "gatekeepers" (his term in the book) in my previous company were also not very happy about them.
So before you try the suggestions, do the categorical imperative test ('what if everyone would do this?') and continue if you are happy with the test result. You will find that a good share will fail the test.
It shipped and arrived as promised.