Book Review: Never Eat Alone

While on paternity leave this week I read seven books. I haven’t had that much spare time, but I’ve been following my “if I’m not taking notes, toss it” methodology, and wound up skimming through the better part of five of them.

Never Eat Alone

Never Eat Alone was not one of the skimmers.

The author has walked the walk – he has a network of over 5,000 people whom he has used throughout his career to achieve some pretty hefty accomplishments, including becoming the CMO of Deloitte Consulting, and CEO of YaYa Media. While his use of examples from his experience gets tiring (I did skim those parts), it’s obvious by the first chapter that he knows his stuff.

I have a list of around 20 bullet points I took away from this book, which is a solid task list for me to mull over in the coming months. The gyst of the book is to network, but to be genuine about it, to build relationships before you need them, and the biggest takeaway: try to help others without expecting anything in return.

While none of this is groundbreaking, the author’s examples help lend perspective to what he means specifically by “help people” (mostly it’s about connecting two people within  your network who can help each other).

He also provides something of a process for maintaining your network. Not trite advice like “Everyone enjoys the sound of their own name,” but things like “Make a list of all the people you know and want to know, organize them into categories, and ping those in category 1 once a month, category 2 once a quarter, etc…”

It sounds rigid, but this is the kind of process I need to put in place or else I find myself never lifting my fingers from the keyboard to have lunch with someone.

Frankly, Never Eat Alone delivered on the promise of How to Win Friends and Influence People; a book I’ve attempted to read three times and have never made it past the first chapter. It’s painfully bad.

So while Never Eat Alone is not revolutionary, it is an expert’s take on how to network in a way that allows you to keep your self-respect. I recommend it.

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#1 Martin on 07.20.10 at 7:00 am

Sounds interesting, thanks for sharing!

#2 Dustin on 07.25.10 at 6:36 pm

I’m surprised you didn’t like “How To Win Friends & Influence People” – that is one of my all-time favorite books. I think it should be required reading for everyone at the college level – no joke.

(Maybe try listening to it as an audiobook, that’s what I did.)

#3 Anirudh on 09.05.10 at 10:37 am

I have heard about Keith’s book quite often and I think its now time to finally shell some money and get this one.

I agree with Dustin. “How to Win Friends…” was an eye-opener for me and in fact the very first book which was recommended to me ever since I started reading books in this non-fiction genre.

But books are vastly subjective!

Your site-blog looks cool…I am feeding it to my RSS.