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Sol Orwell (Co-Founder / Examine.com)
I hate business books. They are full of wishy-washy inspirational stuff and rarely of anything actionable. And even when actionable, it's from the context of that founder and the story they've spun, not the reality that most people face. So if anything, I'd have people read books such as Jayson Gaignard's Mastermind Dinners; Derek Coburn's Networking is Not Working; Shane Snow's Storytelling edge; Keith Ferrazzi's Never Eat Alone.
Do you want to get ahead in life?
Climb the ladder to personal success?
The secret, master networker Keith Ferrazzi claims, is in reaching out to other people. As Ferrazzi discovered early in life, what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships—so that everyone wins.
In Never Eat Alone, Ferrazzi lays out the specific steps—and inner mindset—he uses to reach out to connect with the thousands of colleagues, friends, and associates on his Rolodex, people he has helped and who have helped him.
The son of a small-town steelworker and a cleaning lady, Ferrazzi first used his remarkable ability to connect with others to pave the way to a scholarship at Yale, a Harvard MBA, and several top executive posts. Not yet out of his thirties, he developed a network of relationships that stretched from Washington’s corridors of power to Hollywood’s A-list, leading to him being named one of Crain’s 40 Under 40 and selected as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the Davos World Economic Forum.
Ferrazzi's form of connecting to the world around him is based on generosity, helping friends connect with other friends. Ferrazzi distinguishes genuine relationship-building from the crude, desperate glad-handling usually associated with “networking.” He then distills his system of reaching out to people into practical, proven principles. Among them:
Don’t keep score: It’s never simply about getting what you want. It’s about getting what you want and making sure that the people who are important to you get what they want, too.
“Ping” constantly: The Ins and Outs of reaching out to those in your circle of contacts all the time—not just when you need something.
Never eat alone: The dynamics of status are the same whether you’re working at a corporation or attending a society event— “invisibility” is a fate worse than failure.
In the course of the book, Ferrazzi outlines the timeless strategies shared by the world’s most connected individuals, from Katherine Graham to Bill Clinton, Vernon Jordan to the Dalai Lama.
Chock full of specific advice on handling rejection, getting past gatekeepers, becoming a “conference commando,” and more, Never Eat Alone is destined to take its place alongside How to Win Friends and Influence People as an inspirational classic.
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