November Books 10) Never Eat Alone

10) Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazzi with Tahl Raz

For some reason this was supplied as a freebie with my new Palm T|X from work. (Along with Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors, and a bunch of other less useful stuff.) It’s a book about how to network effectively, and so for a compulsive networker like me was absolutely fascinating reading. What I found particularly striking is that the book is aimed at the thrusting, selfish young executive, and actually tells them to calm down, start doing little favours for other people – whoever they may be – and be generally nice to people because it is fun and good for you, and also will help your business and your career. It is an interesting combination of exhorting people to altruism by playing on their self-interest; being friendly doesn’t cost you anything, in fact it can benefit you a lot.

Suggested tactics include such glories as the “deep bump” – how to conduct a meaningful but efficiently brief conversation with someone you meet at a conference or similar networking event (though Ferrazzi loathes the concept of “networking events”), ending with a concrete proposal of how you can be useful to each other. Oddly enough last night I was out for dinner and found myself sitting beside a bloke from America who I hadn’t met before. He conducted a meaningful but efficiently brief conversation with me, ending with a concrete proposal as to how we could be useful to each other in the future. I realised with an inner grin (even as the conversation was going on) that I was being “deep bumped”. But in fact the process was a sensible use of both our time, and I probably will take him up on his offer next time I am in New York.

There are some problems with the structure and repetitiveness of this book (which shows signs of an editor attempting to make sense of a stream-of-consciousness manuscript) but the other thing I liked was the occasional historical asides. I will think of Paul Revere and Benjamin Franklin in a new light now. A thought-provoking read.

One thought on “November Books 10) Never Eat Alone

  1. >>(And oh, phone makers – why not go for some models with longer battery life, instead of always driving the size down every time the battery technology gets a bit better.)<< This so much this. I don't like my present un-smart phone but I only have to charge it for an hour every week, so I am keeping it.

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