Don't Walk … RUN!
RUN ... to your closest bookstore, or Amazon.com. Purchase a copy of Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets of Success, One Relationship at a Time, by Keith Ferrazzi (with Tahl Raz). It is the most extraordinary & valuable book I've come across in a long, long time! (Ah, the joys of arriving early at the Albany airport.) Endorsed by such people as my great pal Tim Sanders (Yahoo guru), the book on network building by a legendary network builder includes chapters such as: "Don't Keep Score," "Build It Before You Need It," "Do Your Homework," "Managing the Gatekeeper—Artfully," "Never Eat Alone," "Follow Up or Fail," "Pinging—All the Time," "Build Your Brand," and "Balance Is B.S." I'm only halfway through, but I've already found gems such as these:
"People tell us, 'If you just get more organized, if you just strike a balance between work and home, and limit yourself to the important people in your life, you'll feel better.' That's just totally misguided. What they should be saying is, 'I gotta get a life filled with people I love.' The problem, as I see it, isn't what you're working on, it's who you're working with. ... I think the problem in today's world isn't that we have too many people in our lives, it's that we don't have enough. ... How many people in our lives can walk into our homes and just open up the fridge and help themselves? Not many. People need 'refrigerator relationships' ..." (from the chapter "Balance Is B.S.")
"Over the years, I learned that the outrageous number of misperceptions clouding those who are relationship-builders is equaled only by the misperceptions of how relationship-building is done properly. ... Rarely was there [among the relationship-builders] any running tally of who did what for whom, or strategies concocted in which you give just so you could get. Over time, I came to see reaching out to people as a way to make a difference in people's lives as well as a way to explore and learn and enrich my own; it became the conscious construction of my life's path. Once I saw networking in this light, I gave myself permission to practice it with abandon in every part of my personal and professional life." (from "Becoming a Member of the Club")
"I learned that networking was about finding ways to make other people more successful. It was about working hard to give more than you get." (from "Self-help: A Misnomer")
"Where employees once found generosity and loyalty in the companies we worked for, today we must find them in a web of our own relationships. ... Today, we need each other more than ever." (from "Don't Keep Score")
"The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity." (from "Don't Keep Score")
"Nothing in my life has created opportunity like a willingness to ask, whatever the situation. ... Sometimes I fail. Audacity in networking has the same pitfalls and fears associated with dating. ... Sticking to the people we know is a tempting behavior; but unlike some forms of dating, the networker isn't looking to achieve only a single successful union." (from "The Genius of Audacity," which title stems from a quote from Goethe: "Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.")
"Set a goal for yourself of initiating a meeting with one new person a week. It doesn't matter where or with whom. Introduce yourself to someone on the bus. Slide up next to someone at the bar and say hello. Hang out at the company water cooler and force yourself to talk to a fellow employee you've never spoken with. You'll find it gets easier and easier with practice." (from "The Genius of Audacity")
As I said, run, don't walk ...