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Friend of a Friend . . .: Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career by David Burkus

David Burkus is a best-selling author, sought-after speaker, and associate professor of leadership and innovation at Oral Roberts University.

He is the author of Under New Management and The Myths of Creativity.

He’s delivered keynotes to the leaders of Fortune 500 companies and the future leaders at the United States Naval Academy.  His TED talk has also been viewed over 1.8 million times.

David is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review and his work has been featured in Fast Company, Financial Times, Inc magazine, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and CBS This Morning.

Interesting fact – he is the very first guest on The Marketing Book Podcast who lives in the great state of Oklahoma!

The Host’s Perspective:

When you hear the word “networking” related to a business event do you cringe a little bit inside? When you attend does it make you feel slimy?

More importantly, are those networking events doing much for you?

If you hate the notion of networking and feel that they are not worth the effort, you’re not alone. And you’ll be happy to know there’s actually a better alternative.

The data is pretty poor on networking events. Despite going to them with an intent to meet new people, most of us just talk to people we already know or people who seem like us.

If you want a broad and diverse network, it’s better to pursue “shared activities”– things to draw a diverse crowd together with the goal of achieving something– then it is to pursue activities for the whole goal is to meet people.

Shared activities are things like nonprofit boards, hobby groups, and sports leagues. Pursuing shared activities will grow a more diverse network than hitting up a mixer.

Based on entertaining case studies and scientific research, this book shows that most of your best connections do not come from close friends but rather from distant, even long-forgotten contacts; that it’s the colleagues and influential acquaintances of your best friends who will play a major role in developing your connections; and that your most valuable networking business has much more to do with how you develop the secondary sources in order to springboard your career.

Listen to the Interview:

Show Notes

Friend of a Friend by David Burkus

David Burkus (Twitter)

David Burkus (LinkedIn)

Books by Daniel Pink

Books by Chip Heath

Reinforcements by Heidi Grant

No One Understands You and What to Do About It by Heidi Grant

David Burkus TED Talks

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