Patton's Pick from the PMA Library: "Never Eat Alone"

March 2020

"Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship At A Time" by Keith Ferrazzi 


If you're looking for book recommendations in the productivity and professional development genre, Patton offers a weekly summary of some of the essential and emerging titles from the PMA Library.


Keith Ferrazzi's "Never Eat Alone" offers practical tips on professional success through effective networking. For some, the term "networking" conjures dreaded images of awkward small talk and the dispersal of business cards. For Ferrazzi, to network is a way of life: to seek friends and professional advancement by finding opportunities for giving, not just receiving. "Never Eat Alone" is the recommendation of Will Jones, my guest from episode 18 of The Path Podcast. 

Three takeaways:

  1. Develop yourself. Determine your "Personal Branding Message," an honest and distinct presentation of who you are and what you want. To develop your mission you should identify your strengths, weaknesses, passions and goals, and always tell people how you can help them rather than simply seeking from them. Prove yourself to be a valuable resource to others, both by accumulating knowledge and skills, as well as by cultivating relationships with others. 

  2. Consider strategic network figures. Ferrazzi emphasizes the usefulness of a "Relationship action plan," a brief form of networking goal setting. Ferrazzi outlines a strategy to maximize events and conferences you attend: effectively researching and meeting important attendees, working behind the scenes, giving a speech, or hosting an event yourself.
    • Identify your goals.
    • Identify people who could help you with your goals. 
    • Determine methods of contact. 

  3. Maintain valuable friendships. Ferrazzi emphasizes that you must be willing to help others before expecting anyone to help you in return. Letting your circles mingle with each other by hosting events or gatherings can help you get to know people better in a relaxed setting and help your friends network with one another too. Having interest in the personal lives of others and being transparent about who you are is the key to building relaxed, genuine friendships. Accumulating friends means that you can cultivate a personal board of advisors: a group of valuable and trusted friends who are eager to offer career and life advice. 

Ferrazzi teaches that offering generosity, knowing your contacts at a deeper level, and treating others with genuine friendship proves to be the most successful recipe not only for successful networking, but for a successful and meaningful way of life. 

Keith Ferrazzi is the author of the bestsellers Who's Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone. Ferrazzi has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Inc., and Fast Company. He was the youngest person to make partner and hold the position of Chief Marketing Officer at Deloitte Consulting, where he raised Deloitte's brand recognition from lowest to a primary position, spurring the highest growth rate in the industry.