Phoebe Tran's Reviews > Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
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really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction

Having read many books in the past about the art of networking and how to build connections for a successful life and career, I find Keith Ferrazzi's "Never Eat Alone" to be an especially great book on this subject. Many of the ideas here are not revolutionary or new since the concept of networking has become, as the author puts it, a "lingua franca of our times". Of course, you'll find chapters on well-worn topics, such as "being interesting," "follow your passion", or "the art of small talk".
Nonetheless, this book is a great read for 2 specific reasons: (1) making connections should be a lifestyle choice, rather than an opportunistic chore one does occasionally to advance in life; (2) it is possible to cultivate a mindset and a set of skills to establish sincere and worthwhile relationships in today's world.
Some books have become overly cynical about why and how we connect to others. Networking has often been treated as a kind of trickery or manipulation à la Machiavelli, a necessary means to achieve specific ends, such as finding a job, or moving up the power ladder. Ferrazzi's book was able to tread a delicate balance between advocating authenticity and kindness in building relationships and giving practical advice on how to network effectively and maintain different kinds of professional and personal contacts (close friends, acquaintances, super-connectors, gatekeepers, etc.) Most importantly, some of the advice on sincerity in this book does not stray far from insights in classic books, such as Dale Carnegie's How to win friends, but it is updated for situations in the contemporary workplace, incorporating the existence of social media, new technology or events specifically designed to facilitate networking.
Gathering this much praise from me, this book is not without flaws. Many reviewers were put off by Ferrazzi's "boastful" accounts of his own networking prowess. True, most of his real-life anecdotes are from his own life and not from other people's. He does sometimes go on about all his famous and powerful friends and his shiny networking achievements. However, the author's stories reflect his proactive and continued quest to build meaningful connections, despite his humble working class beginning. Ferrazzi realized early in life the importance of relationships and has since worked out ways to mitigate the difficulties of starting and maintaining connections (warm the cold calls, follow up, provide social arbitrage, and don't keep score, etc.)
Overall, Never Eat Alone is worth reading if you are in search for the ins and outs of networking and to learn how to manage and advance your career in today's world.
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Reading Progress

January 25, 2016 – Started Reading
January 25, 2016 – Shelved
January 26, 2016 – Finished Reading
February 6, 2016 – Shelved as: non-fiction

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Tèo Sip Thánk kìu~

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