New York Times bestselling author Keith Ferrazzi spoke to Wisconsin MBA students about the value of networking and building relationships at the Wisconsin School of Business on Thursday, October 23. Founder and chairman of Ferrazzi Greenlight, the author was a featured speaker in the M. Keith Weikel Leadership Speaker Series.
“Networking is a critical leadership skill, and Keith Ferrazzi’s book, Never Eat Alone, offers a wealth of essential relationship management tools,” said Blair Sanford, assistant dean of the Full-Time MBA Program. “Each one of our students benefited greatly from hearing Keith’s inspirational talk on tactics such as focusing first on being generous and the importance of creating authentic relationships.”
In his presentation, Ferrazzi spoke about the qualities that build “lifeline relationships,” a concept he discusses in his second book, Who’s Got Your Back. Intimacy, generosity, candor, and accountability are the four traits he hails as critical to maintaining strong relationships.
“Networks are everything,” Ferrazzi said. “I never got a job that wasn’t through my network.”
A self-proclaimed entrepreneur “recovering from having spent a lot of time in Fortune 500 companies,” Ferrazzi has authored two books on the importance of building relationships. His first, titled Never Eat Alone, explores the steps and mindset necessary to networking both personally and professionally.
Ferrazzi also discussed how different mindsets can help position individuals for better networking and more beneficial opportunities.
“You don’t think your way into a new way of acting, you act your way into a new way of thinking,” Ferrazzi said.
Audience members received a free copy of Never Eat Alone courtesy of the Wisconsin MBA. Ferrazzi hopes that his talk will inspire MBA students and working professionals alike to change the way they view relationships and become more intentional about networking.
“Not only did I learn a great deal about networking, but I was inspired by Keith's example and personal experiences,” said Full-Time MBA student Stephen Griffiths (MBA '15). “I came home energized and excited to be better at staying in touch with old friends and to reach out to professional contacts.”
Learn more about the M. Keith Weikel Leadership Speaker Series.