Recently I read Never Eat Alone by Steve Ferazzi. The book starts with good story telling and actual great advice to build and extend your own personal network.
This is to help brand yourself, but mostly to connect and help people. With the main idea being that the more people you know, the more people you can connect. Thus the more people can connect you with other people, too. Which itself can lead to new projects, new job positions, possibly new friendships, etc.
Unfortunately the writing style is… how should I phrase it? Very american. Everything is great, the author is great, and following the advice given you will be great, too.
By saying that I don’t imply that the content is bad. To the contrary actually. I think there’s some really good advice in the book.
It’s just that it gets boring for me after continously reading stories like:
- “When I was CEO at company X, I used this technique to connect to some high profile politician.”
- “When I was COO at company Y, I made sure that I position myself at the right spots at all the conferences I travelled to.”
- “I have my assistant prepare background information papers about all important people speaking at the conference, so that I have an angle for a short introduction.”
- “I throw dinner parties at least once every month, and this is what you can do to have an interesting anchor tennant to draw more interesting people to your parties, too.”
It might be a cultural thing between the United States and Europe, but all the self-praise in the book just shadows the good parts for me.
Many chapters are also written from a relatively high position of status. Not everyone has a C-level title, not everyone can spend the majority of their waking ours travelling and meeting people, not everyone has an assitant they can task with gathering background information about people they’re going to meet.
But I’m not bashing the content per se. I’d still recomment the book to anyone who wants to learn more about building a network around themselves. I got good new ideas out of it, that’s for sure.
And as usual it’s not intended to carbon copy everything you read in the book, but to get inspiration to approach the next important meeting or conference in a different way for example.