It's always a good sign when you're mentally exhausted after reading a book, and I felt that way after completing Never Eat Alone, each chapter contains a wealth of useful information. I've considered myself to be good with people and someone with strong interpersonal skills, but this book humbled me by showing me how much I can improve when it comes to the dreaded art of "networking".
Keith Ferrazzi provides practical and precise methods that can be done in everyday professional life in this book. The importance of connecting and the impact it has on our own success was clearly articulated. The "Connectors Hall of Fame" sections were value enough to read this book. One of the most poignant points was to focus on your strengths, not your
weaknesses using the 80/20rule. We should all be "sticklers for self-development," but we sometimes focus too much on what we can't do as opposed to the special things we can do. The flavor of the networking conversation will change, not because you are saying, "Look at me," but because you are sharing the best parts about you with some vulnerability which will change the small talk to a real connection.
I feel that the most powerful message in this book is being able to offer something of value to someone regardless of their status or title. My interactions with others have changed after reading this; as Keith says, networking isn't a zero-sum game - if you help someone out it doesn't mean there's less "pie" to go around. There's an abundance of goodwill in this world and helping others creates a chain reaction which can then create serendipitous moments which change the course of our lives.
There may be two minor cons. First, it is a little lengthy. The meat of it could be an essay or even a TED talk. There's a lot of anecdotal filler. Second, he goes at length into some tactics that are pretty specific to his own approach and style that might not really be the be-all end-all of good networking for others, but unique to him.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to enhance their lives with the connections they make. This book will help you grow as a person by allowing you to know what types of relationships you want to have and with whom you have those relationships with.
At the end, I like to share some of my favorite quotes: