Nordic Track Book Club Review: Never Eat Alone

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Keith Ferrazzi’s Never Eat Alone : And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time is quite possibly a life-changing experience if you were to apply his philosophy of focusing on other people to ensure both career success and a more meaningful life as a result.  6-out-of-5 stars.  Excerpts from the first 50 pages only, with too many in the book to put in a single post.

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p.7 When you help others, they often help you.  Reciprocity is the gussied-up word people use later in life to describe this ageless principle.  Success in any field, but especially in business, is about working with people.

Like business itself, being a connector is not about managing transactions, but about managing relationships.

I learned that real networking was about finding ways to make other people more successful.  It was about working hard to give more than you get.

The loyalty and security once offered by organizations can be provided by our own networks.  Lifetime corporate employment is dead; we’re all free agents now, each with our own brand, managing our own careers across multiple jobs and companies.

p.14 The key to success in one word: generosity.  The more people you help, the more help you’ll have and the more help you’ll have helping others.  There’s only one surefire way to find a job, money, advice, help, hope–within your extended circle of friends and associates.

Each of us is now a brand.  Gone are the days where your value as an employee was linked to your loyalty and seniority.  Companies use branding to develop strong, enduring relationships with customers.  In today’s fluid economy, you must do the same with your network.

Step One (on setting goals): find your passion.  “A goal is a dream with a deadline.”  we all have our own loves, insecurities, strengths, weaknesses, and unique capabilities.  And we have to take those into account in figuring out where our talents and desires intersect.  That intersection is what I call your “blue flame”–where passion and ability come together.

Once you establish your three-year plan you’ll have the names of flesh-and-blood people who can help you take the next step in achieving that mission.  And you’ll have several ways to reach out to them.  Your goals must be specific, believable, challenging and demanding.

p.42 The great myth of “networking” is that you start reaching out to others only when you need something like a job.  In reality, people who have the largest circle of contacts, mentors, and friends know that you must reach out to others long before you need anything at all.

Too often we get caught up efficiently doing ineffective things, focusing solely on the work that will get us through the day.  The idea is to be constantly creating the environment and community you want for yourself, no matter what may occur.

p.49 My father simply couldn’t be embarrassed when it came to fulfilling his family’s needs. And Dad taught me that there is genius, even kindness, in being bold.

The choice isn’t between success and failure; it’s between choosing risk and striving for greatness, or risking nothing and being certain of mediocrity.

p.55 Time tested script to use when meeting someone the first time. 1) State the situation, 2) Communicate your feelings, 3) Delivery the bottom line, 4) Use an open-ended question.

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Many more valuable lessons on building relationship were in the remaining 250 pages. You’ll have to buy it to compile your own excerpts. 

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[tags: Never Eat Alone, Nordic Track Ski]

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.