High-Level Thoughts

The quintessential networking book. I do find many of these behaviors annoying, though…

Summary Notes

“But in business, I found nothing came close to the impact of mentors. At every stage in my career, I sought out the most successful people around me and asked for their help and guidance.”

“Until you become as willing to ask for help as you are to give it, however, you are only working half the equation.”

“It helps to have an enlightened counselor, or two or three, to act as both cheerleader and eagle-eyed supervisor, who will hold you accountable. I call this group my Personal Board of Advisors.”

“In reality, people who have the largest circle of contacts, mentors, and friends know that you must reach out to others long before you need anything at all.”

“Set a goal for yourself of initiating a meeting with one new person a week. It doesn’t matter where or with whom. Introduce yourself to someone on the bus. Slide up next to someone at the bar and say hello. Hang out at the company water cooler and force yourself to talk to a fellow employee you’ve never spoken with. You’ll find that it gets easier and easier with practice.”

“There’s another category you might want to add, something I call my “aspirational contacts.” There are those extremely high-level people who have nothing to do with my business at hand but are just, well, interesting or successful or both. The people on that list may be anyone from heads of state and media moguls, to artists and actors, to people others speak highly of. I list these people, too.”

“In building a network, remember: Above all, never, ever disappear.”

“The follow-up I remember best is the one I got first.”

“Henry Kissinger’s technique for commanding a room: “Enter the room. Step to the right. Survey the room. See who is there. You want other people to see you.””

“Once you get to know the owner, it’ll become like your very own restaurant— a place that has the patina of exclusivity and cachet a private club imparts with all the warmth and comfort of your own home. With some advance planning and a little loyalty, a restaurateur will not only share the bounty of his kitchen with you but introduce you to his roster of other clients as well.”

“Never forget the person who brought you to the dance. I once mistakenly invited a brand-new friend to a party without inviting the person who introduced us. It was a terrible mistake, and an unfortunate lapse in judgment on my part. Trust is integral to an exchange of networks that demands treating the other person’s contacts with the utmost respect.”

“Of course, there are always fail-safe conversation starters suitable for every business function: How did you get started in your business? What do you enjoy most about your profession? Tell me about some of the challenges of your job? But safety— whether in conversation, business, or life— generally produces “safe” (read: boring) results.”

““There are so many wonderful people here tonight; I’d feel remiss if I didn’t at least try and get to know a few more of them. Would you excuse me for a second?””

“If All Else Fails, Five Words That Never Do “You’re wonderful. Tell me more.””

“Six to ten guests, I’ve found, is the optimal number to invite to a dinner.”

Can’t join a club? Make your own.

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