October 27, 2004
News & Opinion: Healthy Networking
While radically new business books are refreshing, most of us get the most use from solid and action-oriented titles that help us manage key skills more proficiently. Take the topic of networking. Some folks might dress up this topic as arguments helping one achieve a Tipping Point through spotting mavens and mavericks blablabla.but the most valuable books may be those that simply strip away the clutter and get to the point. Thats why, for example, I recommend the recent The Networking Survival Guide by Diane Darling. A strong, clear, and straightforward guide to mastering this key business skill. And I must also cite a book closer to my heart, Networking Magic: Find the Bestfrom Doctors, Lawyers, and Accountants to Homes, Schools, and Jobs by Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin. (DisclosureI know both the authors, which, however, has little to do with this tout.) This book manages to practice its core message, which is that people should think of networking as more than a skill to develop but literally a way of life. The books warm and inviting tone will charm many readers, who will feel they have connected with the authors. So meet one of the authors. Here are a few questions I asked Rick Frishman. Q: There have been a number of recent books about networking. How is yours different? A: Networking Magic is about how to find the best, not just anyone. It teaches readers to strive for the best and how to get there. Secondly, it is based on interviews and information provided by acknowledged experts in their fields and networking pros who know the ropes and reveal the inside secrets. Finally, its much more comprehensive in the range and scope of the material covered in other books. Q: Whats going on in the world today that makes it more important for people to develop their networking chops? A: Life today is a contact sport. Having information and expertise is simply not enough. You can be a genius, the world's leading expert, but you also must know how to use that brilliance to get the highest return. You must be able to identify and reach the right target market. In today's world, where the best people are protected by electronic fences and are impossible to reach, good networkers can get through and do so in a way that can get their targets to actually listen and act. We teach readers those secrets. Q You argue that networking entails more than developing a large database of names and addresses. Please define networking as it applies to daily practice and as a way of life: A: It's about giving, which is a way of life, not an occasional tactic. It encourages readers to establish a wide reputation as a person who is genuinely eager to help out and not simply to set up others to get something in return. It's learning to be selfless, to be helpful and generous. It will enrich your life by making you rich in the resource of people and when we get down to core values, NOTHING is more important than having close friends in life. So giving is the key.