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Thoughts on Never Eating Alone

Adapted from original blog in 2014.

Have you ever read Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi?

I had the opportunity to see Ferrazzi speak at an ASTD conference several years ago in Atlanta and I was impressed by his messages to be interestED, not interestING and his charge to create your own powerful personal Board of Directors (BODs).

Ferrazzi’s text provides insightful reminders about the importance of strong relationships.

Relationships with others provide strength and humor, support and understanding, and new ideas and challenges.

How do you do it? Here are a few of my favorite ideas:

1) “Disciplined dreamers all have one thing in common: a mission. The mission is often risky, unconventional, and most likely tough as hell to achieve. But it is possible.

2) “These days, I rarely blanch at the chance to introduce topics of conversation that some consider off-limits. Spirituality, romance, politics—these are some of the issues that make life worth living.” Fail safe conversation starters at business mixers include “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.”

3) “Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.” Everyone had something to teach him.”

4) “The ability to bridge different worlds, and even different people within the same profession is a key attribute in managers who are paid better and promoted faster.”

5) “We humans beings are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from other’s activities. For this reason, It is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.” Dalai Lama

I study equine guided education and how horse herd dynamics can teach us about relationships and leadership. Each horse has its job in the herd and thrives with the support of others. Put a herd of horses together in a big pasture and you’ll find they’re always within site distance of one another. They like to be close. Introduce a new horse to the mix and watch how quickly they get to know each other and establish roles.

Horses can teach us so much about relationships.

Thinking about my own relationships, I’ve been reviewing my personal BODs and who I’d like to add. Ferrazzi says to write it down and make it happen!

Think Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon! Hmmmm… I’ve got some big dreams! How about you?

Follow Ferrazi on twitter @keithferrazzi for great tips on how to start meaningful conversations and intriguing thoughts.

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