Sunday, August 2, 2015

Networking Must-Read: Give and Take by Adam Grant


The greatest lie ever told about networking is that a great networker is master of the present moment - that fortune favours only the brash and bold.

Being a life-long student of networking I have observed that the true master is one who transcends time and space to stitch together past, present and future for the purpose of creating value. Let me digress in a little nerdery for a moment....

Dr. Who is the greatest networker. Ever. 

Fuelled by curiosity, his super power is not the time machine he uses. Nor is it his virtual immortality, yes he's lived 13 lives since we Whovians have been following his exploits. It's how he manages his network. Giving first, saving civilizations then engaging the wisdom of and calling for help from those he's worked with when needed. When critics wonder what about this low-budget, campy crusader could possibly captivate humanity for over 50 years? It's not the swashbuckling but rather the connections he makes, the relationships he builds and what he does with them that endures. Life and work for us can be as adventurous should we choose....but on to the book....

Written in the context of this digital age, technology is something older best-selling networking books in the world only touch on and Adam Grant full immerses you in. Most importantly he addresses the elephant on the room that others do not, LinkedIn IS inextricably part of business networking right now and we need to pay attention to the internet of things to come.

Why is this the most-read book by successful people?

I love that this is on the reading lists of the world's business publications and the nightstands of successful people I know. Why? Because it's for people who value relationships, integrity, character - who understand that life is not short - it's long. Too long to think 'hunting' but too short to think 'farming' too. I love that it profiles people at all stages of career and life. Discusses the thorny issue of how to give and take credit at work, manage yourself as you ascend the ranks and most importantly, how to manage an established network.

The BIGGEST value of this book

Are you stymied about networking time management? Don't think you have time to network? You'll learn how to allocate time between meeting new people, keeping in touch with those around you and those you've lost contact with. This is the ROI of a network and you'll finish it with the tools to finally know where your biggest value is right now, and how to engage them.

The subtly of dealing with people is what will impress you about this book. Chapters on what the value of and how to master 'powerless communication' is a must have skill in today's influence economy. As our own career evolves, the insight to conduct 'motivation maintenance' on yourself highlights something that people often overlook - relationships change over the years too.

What makes this mandatory reading for the thinking class is the answer to an age old question - how do I give without being a pushover? This New York times article featuring the author on 'giving to get ahead' was one of the most-read articles of the year. Those who like to network and can't find the time will find an added bonus in the concept of the "5 minute favor".
You'll gain vital insight into
givers, takers and those in between. It's a vital and valuable read for seasoned professionals and new graduates alike. And it's been endorsed by my top two authors of the past few years: Susan Cain, leader of the Quiet revolution to regain strategy, dignity, sanity in business. And  Daniel Pink author of 'To sell is human' on how we ethically influence in this digital and connected age.

Enjoy this very quick video on the power of moving between time and space in your network by activating the power of weaker and dormant ties.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Focus by Daniel Goleman

focusDaniel Goleman has built his career being the bridge between business and the brain. A global best selling author of ground-breaking books on ‘emotional intelligence’ and ‘social intelligence’ . Goleman is no social media slouch either, he is skilled in Twitter and one of LinkedIn’s original official ‘influencers’ with viral posts on the site and almost 2 million business followers. I don’t say this often, the man is a master.

Not many people understand the value of the brain, how it works at work, what distracts it from productivity and how to overcome that distraction. Focus1There is NO better book to read at this moment, when we are at the height of distraction, than his book – Focus.

Goleman brings value to the reader by providing insight and resources to strengthen three types of focus:


  1. Inner Focus: He shares the concept of ‘cognitive control’ that will allow us to calm the noise in our heads, the noise we’re attacked with constantly. Whether it’s through learned mindfulness through breathing, meditation in a practical way or understanding yourself and what breaks your focus, you will gain tools to regain some sanity in this age of distraction.
  2. Other Focus: Empathy is a word we’ve weakened by ghettoizing it to the touchy-feely world of feelings. This is a critical skills for anyone who works with people, leaders especially. There are many examples of how high performers who were struggling with a change of focus from their own success to a career evolution to leadership where they are now responsible for many people’s success. This is listening 2.0 training!
  3. Outer Focus: Goleman is truly a man of this time. He grasps digital tools both software and hardware as well as being a master of social media. These resources help the reader understand how to move from distraction to curation of the noise for personal success and organizational leadership.Focus2

This book is a touchstone and reset for people who want to continue to integrate into this brave new world of communication and retain a personal focus and mental strength. If you want to quickly learn more about the three types of focus, read this Forbes article and watch the video at the end of this post.

We work out our bodies all the time but we take for granted that mental strength and focus is like a muscle that constantly needs to be exercised but none of the academics who teach these skills are part of this century’s business or digital ecosystem – Goleman is. Which is why this book is the how-to that is a must-read.

It’s also a wonderful reminder that one of the strongest assets to focus is rest and downtime. Stories like Mark Benioff’s ( the creator of SalesForce ) and many more leaders finding powerful ideas and business value in taking time away or off will inspire you to make time for yourself. In a world where we don’t take vacation for our career, we need to be reminded that it will stagnate if we don’t make room for creativity.

If you have the attention span ( do you? ) here is a brilliant 1 hour talk by Daniel Goleman at Google on Focus.

The Harvard Business Review reminds us that leaders need focus now more than ever. For now, enjoy this quick 90 second video on the 3 types of focus.

And if you haven’t read his previous books, check them out.

Thanks for reading. Paul Nazareth

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin

This book was yanked out of the author by readers. The content is that vital.

Last fall, Amy Morin a psychotherapist, wrote a blog post on mental strength that went viral and was read by hundreds of thousands. Then the content was used by Forbes Magazine and it was read 10 million times. It was mentalclear there was a need for this conversation on mental strength in the working world.

We’re constantly told to mind our health, so we take care of our body, watch what we put in it and how we use it and let it rest. What about the mind? In a busy working world, do we watch what goes in, how we use it and how we rebuild it when we work past its limit? And there are a ton of self-help books out there about resilience and stress management, what made this article so special? Why did so many people read and share it?

Two things:

1) This wasn’t about self-help, it was a business article in Forbes for those of us who rule the working world. A resource for the strong on strength. The author is now a Forbes contributor on the psychology of business life.

2) The author had a secret that made the content hyper-authentic and people smelled that truth. Sure Amy Morin is an experienced psychotherapist who has helped many people through challenging times but she herself faced powerful setbacks in her life and work, overcoming them forced to her create these 13 powerful tips from a very a raw and real place.

Last fall I shared the tips on my own LinkedIn feed and had my own viral moment as people really responded to them, as I did myself. I wrote this blog post and my wife made me a poster that I shared but put up on my own wall13thingscover so the tips could help me daily.

Now, Amy has released this insightful book. Expanding on each of the tips, sharing actual stories of people she has helped overcome each issue.

It is practical, it is powerful.

At this time of year when people ( me included ) are thinking:

  • How can I keep this up?
  • How did I become so resentful?
  • Where did this negativity come from?
  • How can I deal with daily attacks on my positivity and productivity?

I’ll say it again, this isn’t self-help book. You’re reading a business book blog, this is about being better at work. Reconnecting with strengths you know you have but are losing touch with. It’s about winners winning more.

strongerThis book is like taking vitamins for your attitude. When you finish it you get that feeling like getting out of the shower in the morning when you think “yes, I can own this day, it won’t own  me”. I’m so happy to have that feeling back!

Amy, you are a woman of wisdom, strength and power beyond belief. You have lived through a couple of my greatest fears in life and by sharing how you got through them you’ve helped me quiet the growing paralyzing fear I had of them. Want to keep learning from Amy? Follow her on Twitter.

This is part of my plan for a better 2015, I would encourage anyone who engages in personal planning and self reflection for business success to pick up this book.

I leave you with a quick video about how it all came together and the powerful events Amy herself overcame to create these tips. It’s quite a story.

Best wishes for a restful, reflective end to 2014 and a powerful, positive productive start to 2015!

TwitterJuly2014   Thanks for reading,

               Paul Nazareth

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Opening Playbook: 21st Century Networking

Because of this blog, people send me books. I have to send most of them back because they’re not about networking, or business development and don’t have content I can get excited about, content of powerful value.

Andrew Dietz, you sought me out sir. I am grateful.

This book is awesome – more importantly it’s valuable.

I can’t count the amount of times I said the word “FINALLY” out loud reading this book. OpeningPlaybook

First and foremost he puts to rest the old school mantra of “ABC: Always Be Closing” and updates the networking paradigm for this century of authentic connecting and open data ---- ALWAYS BE OPENING

Opening conversations, opening connections to new possibility, opening collaboration opportunities for your network. People say “be of value to your clients or donors” – this book is the playbook of how to do that.

football-and-businessNow, full disclosure, I do not like all organized sport so the football analogies were totally lost on me. But the book is really about the strategy of solid, authentic human networking and that is something I’m all about.

Written in fable format ( which I love because it makes for a quicker, more memorable and dare I say ‘enjoyable’ read ) this book is about Sam a young lawyer who just doesn’t get it – he doesn’t get it because he was taught 20th Century networking like so many of us. He is helped along by Candace, the owner of a 21st century “coffee shop” coworking space – the kind that many of us know is the hottest place to be right now for knowledge workers.

coffeeofficeShoutout to the awesome folks at “The Coffice”, this should be your official book for helping professionals understand what this revolution is all about!

Young professionals are going to want to read this book because it’s a play by play with actual granular guidance ( chapter reviews include what to do, what to say, how to do it ) on real authentic networking.

Experienced business professionals – I have been LOOKING for a book that social-networking-businessintegrates 2014 digital media ( LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, blogs, websites ) into networking and business development. 90% of the best selling networking authors do not get how to truly integrate digital media into the workday. Andrew Dietz gets it and he NAILS IT in this book. What’s the best content, how to share it, how to mine social media platforms for leads and HOW to make connections. It was a cool breeze on a warm summer’s day – well more like blessed oxygen in a suffocating world of social business skeptics .

OpeningPlaybookBuy this book, it’s a quick read, it’s a valuable read – give it to someone you’re mentoring or being mentored by. I’ve bought more copies for my talks at Universities.

It’s the 21st century people, lets networking using today’s tools. The result, better business.

Want more value, follow Andrew on Twitter

   As always, please share this post. Thanks for reading!

                    Paul Nazareth

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath

decisiveAt this time of year, networking season, I’m walking and talking with strangers, peers and mentors almost every day of the week at the crack of dawn. And we’re almost always talking about the same thing….


Major life decisions, career decisions, management decisions, budget decisions.

People worry a lot about making the right and wrong ones and there aren’t many great clear resources out there to help make them. DecisiveImage

Once again to the rescue comes global best selling authors Chip and Dan Heath. Every one of their previous books are must-reads and on the shelves of business book fans the world over. They are also students and promoters of the ‘solutions focus’ model that Alan Kay taught me and that I highly value.

If you find yourself making a good deal of decisions or if you’re in that scary career decision part of your life this book is a must-read.

It starts with the 4 Villains of Decision Making, the mind tricks we all fall into and how to retrain your gut when it is leading you astray. Something they shared in Inc Magazine recently.

Addressing the quintessential career question they highlight something I have decisionmantold thousands of people – find someone who is doing what you want to do and talk to them. In the case of this book they go a step further and encourage you to seek out people who have solved the career problem you are facing. As an added bonus to the book they have recorded a podcast “Decisive for Career Decisions”, free on their website (click here).

Both the Heath brothers an I are fans of one of Canada’s thought leaders Roger Martin and they remind us of a question he asks often, ‘what would have to be true for this to be the right answer’. They recently spoke with  Roger about how to “prepare to be wrong” when making decisions. A great video interview. Decisive_Wrap

Besides insightful solutions the book teaches you how to ask better questions of the people you turn to for help with decisions.

They introduce you odd words, like “Ooch” meaning to test ideas in the real world – entrepreneurs do this a lot. Decisive shares how to do it with minimal risk and when to try this strategy ( as well as when NOT to too ). Another smart idea is to engage not just in the ‘post-mortem’ but consider a ‘pre-mortem’ before you make the decision

Another great decision tool is the 10/10/10 rule featured in Fast Company magazine recently. In an interview with Forbes they applied the book to decision making in the healthcare sector where overconfidence can be lethal and outcomes effect life and death, a powerful read on decision making in crisis.

A personal note on the format that makes this book such a valuable read. I know many business books do this but not enough do these days. Each chapter at the end has a recap, a rethink and how to apply each concept to your life. It’s the main reason many people like me who read books from the library, bought a copy of the book. You can refer to it later without having to re-read.

I leave you with this quick video review. If you have already read the book be sure to check out this fantastic mind-map of the WRAP process by Douglas Pratt on his blog. It’s a quick way to remember the lessons of the book.

Again, don’t forget to visit Chip and Dan Heath’s site for free resources!

new       Thanks for reading,

       Paul Nazareth


Monday, October 14, 2013

Ctrl Alt Delete by Mitch Joel

In my network, folks know me as the guy obsessed with the future of ‘social business’ – so I should be excited about social media right?

It’s the opposite. My own mentors in the medium remind me, social media is Ctrlover a decade old now. The experts are light years ahead, but I still can’t mention the concept with out the ROI defense and Facebook being mentioned to shut down the conversation. It’s driving me nuts.

Enter Mitch Joel who gave a name to our current digital divide in business… purgatory. I agree 100% – there are two parts to this book that make it a MUST read for anyone who is on board with digital and curious about the future.

#1 Reboot your business

In 2014 everyone is going to be asking,what’s our Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn strategy. Sorry, that’s a 2012 question. The real questions is, how do we make the entire experience seamless?

ONEscreenThe future is on one screen – stop thinking about platforms and devices.

Mitch has been in the digital trenches with his consulting company, he’s been engaging using blogs, podcasts and writing online for the world’s biggest business brands ( Harvard Business, Fast Company to name a couple ) I highly recommend following him. One of the world’s most well known authors in marketing Seth Godin has been walking with him and if you want to watch, this long discussion online is exactly why you should read this book if you work in business and wonder if this is worth your time reading.

Most of all his attitude towards strategy, disconnected devices ( not a 24-7 tweeter, like me he has a family and his phone is always on silent ) the reality of time management really comes through. He’s more business than social.

#2 Reboot YOU

A question people ask me when we talk about ‘digital skill building’ is how they will help us stay employable in 2014 and beyond. Something my peer Promod Sharma addressed in his review of the book. ambermitch

Famous leaders often paint a picture of a career as a straight line, and sure there are still people who’ve had a 40 year career in one company. But the future, is indeed uncertain and the line has become… a squiggle as Mitch puts it. What does that mean? Watch/read this fantastic Fast Company interview with the famous digital educator, Amber Mac. It’s about being flexible in times when massive industries are not, and they die. You know this, you are watching them die right now! The tree that does not bend breaks, which will you be?!

Why is this book your personal roadmap to adapting to the digital future? In “Reboot You” Mitch is crazy specific about:

  • How to make sense of all this mess
  • Exactly how to adjust  your carer and mindset
  • What skills to build and how to build them
  • How to market yourself, step by step, tips and traps

The book is filled with other book recommendations making it truly a roadmap to business and personal success in a time when success is the new survival.

Please share your comments below or with me on Twitter. I leave you with a quick video on the book below, and if you have time listen to this great podcast interview with Mitch or watch this 20 min video interview, OR leave the last video on while you wash dishes/fold clothes. It’s a 45 min investment in your sanity.

I’m off to sleep, and let me tell you I’m sleeping better now after reading this book. Purgatory is a lot easier to deal with when you know, it will end and you have the map to heaven. blog

Thanks Mitch, with gratitude,

Paul Nazareth

Monday, September 23, 2013

Relationship ROI–Nikki Pett

NikkiPettI have read almost 150 books on networking, passed 10,000 of public speaking time, volunteered for thousands of hours for charities washing floors, cooking food and being on boards, I’ve raised millions of dollars to help, change and save the world and I’ve coached a few hundred people to personal success.

I’m often asked why I don’t write a book.

This book is the answer why I don’t need to.

When I first read this book, it was so in tune to my beliefs on networking, business, fundraising, community development that I got through it in less than a couple hours and scared a couple people in a coffee shop shouting “that’s it!!” a few times. I’ve been waiting for a book like this for years.

ROI – Wow I hate this tiny little sharp, overused, passive-aggressive phrase.

But it’s what everyone knows is behind our goals and ideas. Nikki has put together a book that addresses the networking and business solution for my personal trifecta of social good:

1. Associations: Boards of Trade, professional associations, community based member groups. They are the backbone of our for-profit and social-profit world but in 2013, honestly, most of them are struggling to get members and stay relevant. Nikki has dedicated one third of the book to them, and her solutions are practical but current. I gave copies of this book to my favourite associations with the note “this will save you”.

NikkiPettHands2. Charities: Nikki is a proud member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is an exhibitor/sponsor of several chapters. She has worked with them through her business sigma promotions and I must say has a keen understanding of the philanthropic ecosystem. I’m asked so often about how charities can leverage networks, personal and institutional for revenue – one third of this book is for you.

3. Entrepreneurs: I personally feel that business and charities are a bad match. Corporations have influenced good grassroots organizations to become as sluggish, ineffective, bureaucratic and meeting-over-moving-focused. Charities and entrepreneurs were made for each other!! This third of the book, about the pure steps to making profit using today’s social-media technology and networking techniques is a powerful read for all three readers.

This book is not going to be a New York Times best seller. Nikki’s business is not publically traded, she doesn’t have a limo or private jet. But y’know, so many of those authors are more focused on selling the book then on your success, so many of those big businesses are dead weight in our economy and Nikki is a successful business owner who has thrived while giving back. She and my network agree on the definition of success, that triple bottom line between profit, community and the earth.

targetroiI couldn’t recommend reading a book, or meeting a person more.

As the end of 2013 approaches, will you hit your goals?

Nikki can help.

Thanks for spending your time with me today!

             Paul Nazarethblog