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Monday, August 30, 2010

Summer Reading

In preparation for the MPA program, we were asked to read a few books over the summer.  I thought it would be appropriate as my first post to list the important principles I gleaned from one of the books I read called Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.  On the back cover it says the following; "Your network is your net worth.  This book shows you how to add to your personal bottom line with better networking and bigger relationships"  And, "Everyone in business knows relationships and having a network of contacts are important.  Finally we have a real-world guide to how to create your own high-powered network tailored to your career goals and personal style."

Knowing the importance of networking and how it will help me in my professional career, I approached this book differently by having a notebook and pen in hand (even though this wasn't a graded assignment) to keep a list of all the practical information I would use to develop my own network.  I have pages of notes but I'll try to summarize here the most important points:
  • Success in any field, but especially in business, is about working with people.
  • Real networking is about finding ways to make other people more successful.  It's about working hard to give more than you get.
  • The key to success: generosity
  • Relationships are solidified by trust.  You gain trust by asking not what people can do for you, but what you can do for others.
  • Job Security = Friends & Associates
  • Our achievements grow according to the size of our dreams and the degree to which we are in touch with our mission.
  • Don't become a networking jerk
    • Don't Schmooze
    • Don't Gossip
    • Don't come to the party empty handed
    • Don't treat those under you poorly, give everyone respect
    • Be transparent - I am what I am
    • Don't be too efficient, it's not about mass, it's about real connections
  • Do your homework
    • Preparation is the key to genius, research the person you're going to meet.
  • When you meet someone new, take the step to ensure you won't be lost in their mental attic.
  • Follow-up is the KEY to success in any field.
    • Write down a reminder to follow-up.
    • Don't focus on what they can do for you but what you can do for them.
While this is an incomplete and extremely watered-down list of things I learned from the text, I still like the fact that I can use this post as a quick "networking tips" guide.

-Justin

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