Never Eat Alone By Keith Ferrazzi Defines Maslow Networking

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I am well past the halfway mark of Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. Never Eat Alone is the selection for this month’s Montreal Business Book Club. I discovered this book while reading a Tom Peters post in his Blog almost a year ago.
One of the key areas that I get asked the most about (and I also speak publicly about it) is how to network. How to meet more people and how to make those relationships count? Yes, I have a lot of advice on this subject and I have been lucky enough to have created some real relationships through my personal, business and community lives.
But as I came across page 165 in Never Eat Alone it struck me. Hard. Like a bat to the belly (I actually know what that feels like).
Keith Ferrazzi is discussing his learnings from Michael Milken (of Entertainment Media Ventures – EMV). When Ferrazzi asked Milken why so many people invest in a relationship with him, here was his response:
“Keith,” he said, “there are three things in this world that engender deep emotional bonds between people. They are health, wealth, and children.”
“There are a lot of things we can do for other people: give good advice, help them wash their car, or help them move. But health, wealth, and children affect us in ways other acts of kindness do not.”
“When you help someone through a health issue, positively impact someone’s personal wealth, or take a sincere interest in their children, you engender life-bonding loyalty.”
It is true. Think back on your life and the relationships you have. The people that really count hit you right in the Maslow hierarchy of needs. When I read that portion, I started wondering if it is a slimy networking tactic to get that “involved” with anyone… and that’s when the bat smacked the belly. We already help those we love or feel close to.
On the flip side, I am constantly pointing to my community involvement as a core source of my personal growth and self-actualization. In reading that section of Never Eat Alone, I realized that my community work directly affects many at the “health, wealth and children” level. And, as far as I can see, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Read Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. I’m starting to be perturbed. I think the book I had hoped to write is this one.