As promised, a quick review of Never Eat Alone. I first heard about Keith Ferrazzi in The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. Ferrazzi is the epitome of what Gladwell calls a connector--someone with a very wide social network who can introduce friends and acquaintances to a very different group of friends and ideas. Connectors are critical in helping to spread ideas, fads, rumors, and innovations, but in Ferrazzi's book, he describes the theory and practical steps one can take to use the power of connectivity to improve one's quality of life, career, and personal fulfillment.
The most meaningful thing I grasped from the book was that someone like me who is in grad school and still discerning my next career move can still be a success purely by helping to make my friends and acquaintances successful.
I really recommend this book to you, dear reader, even if you are shy and hate "networking." Your career and friendships will be better for it.
If I may be so bold, I would like to summarize the book in two points that help validate the title of this blog as a life strategy:
1) Be interesting. Read interesting things and have interesting questions and stories in hand in case you happen to meet someone you've always wanted to meet, or just so people will want to invite you to things and want to have you around. Even someone who isn't naturally funny can be interesting.
2) Be helpful. Make connections with people before you need to ask them for a favor. Volunteer. Put friends in touch with other friends who might benefit from sharing ideas. It's fun to do, and it is one of the best ways to show your friends that you care about them.
One more thing:
3) Remember people's birthdays. This is the other way to show you care about someone. Call, text, send a card, sing them a song. Birthdays matter.