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A cover article in Inc. magazine on YaYa CEO Keith Ferrazzi's secrets to networking generated the largest response the magazine has received in the past ten years. Now Ferrazzi, working with Inc. writer Tahl Raz, explains the guiding principles he has mastered over a lifetime of reaching out to explain what it takes to build the kind of lasting, mutually beneficial relationships that lead to professional and personal success.
For Ferrazzi, the son of a small-town steelworker and a cleaning lady, the ability to connect with others paved the way to a scholarship at Yale, a Harvard MBA, and a prestigious posting to management consulting giant Deloitte Consulting. He discovered early on in life that the key to what makes successful people different from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships. The sharing of knowledge, resources, time, and energy with people they know and trust is the foundation of their success. In NEVER EAT ALONE, Ferrazzi distinguishes such genuine relationship-building from the crude, desperate glad-handing usually associated with the word “networking.” He distills the ways he uses to reach out to others into practical proven principles, such as:
• Look for mentors: Link up with people who can help guide your career and can introduce you to the people you need to know. Then become a mentor yourself.
• Be interesting: Develop the style, knowledge, and expertise that will draw others to you.
• Build it before you need it: Create lists of people you know—and those you want to know—and maintain ongoing contacts with them throughout your life and career—not just when you need a favor.
• Never eat alone: Avoid the fate of “invisibility”—use potential social settings to constantly reach out to colleagues and future contacts.
Ferrazzi's form of connecting is based on a spirit of generosity. He cautions readers not to keep score. Helping colleagues connect with other friends creates the kind of goodwill that inevitably pays its own dividends. Full of specific advice on handling rejection, getting past gatekeepers, and more, NEVER EAT ALONE is destined to be the How to Win Friends and Influence People of the new millennium.