Friend of a Friend by David Burkus

I first got connected with David Burkus late in 2018 when I saw a few articles of his and then, his book. After looking at some of his content, I was excited to read this book and learned a lot from it. Personally, I’ve always known that even if I’ve fallen out of touch with someone as long as they’re a good person and we last spoke on good terms, I’m there to support them.

When people are looking for advice, we tend to ask the same people time and time again. However, with all of today’s technology, it’s easier to communicate with someone we haven’t spoken with in a few years, why don’t we? Maybe we feel nervous or as if they wouldn’t want to talk to us. But if they called us, we would answer, wouldn’t we? At least as long as they haven’t burned a bridge and are still viewed in a positive light. The author shared the following,

Dormant ties — connections that haven’t been communicated with in over a year. Advice is shown to be more valuable, and provided more unexpected insight. More valuable than current connections

I highlighted the next part just because it was interesting to me and after some of the other books and research that I have read, it was not surprising in the slightest.

Water and lack of sanitation is responsible for 80% of all sickness on the planet.

Here the author shared a list of things that we could do to continue to re-engage with weak and dormant ties. I didn’t note the entire part of this though I did make sure to remember that there is a weekly routine needed.

Weekly routine to re-engage with weak and dormant ties and applicable steps.

I liked the solution to the structural holes that many organizations have. I think that it’s very important to focus on the people within the company and understand all that they are able to provide to the company.

An organization has structural holes. These holes are helped by lateral or downward moves across an organization.

This next part looked at the different reasons that teams are formed. Some teams are created so people from different departments or with different skill sets are needed to come together for a common goal. What might be expected by most is people who work together repeatedly work best. However, teams are often successful, as the author states below, because they meet only for a specified time and then disband.

Having a large network and tight-knit teams isn’t as valuable as a loose network and temporary teams. Teams are successful often because they only meet for a time and then disband.

We should have different people working with us. Below, the author shared a way for us to determine if we are on too many teams with the same person, there is a red flag. We need to be sure that we are diversified enough, below is a way to check that.

You need a loose and diverse enough network to be able to build and rebuild a new roster frequently. Checking if your network is diverse enough:

1. Look back at the last 3 months of your calendar and list any project meetings you attended
2. Write the names of everyone who attended meetings
3. Put an asterisk next to the name of anyone that you’re on multiple teams with
4. Put a plus next to anyone who’s also serving on at least two teams that you are part of. Determine the percentage of people who are serving in multiple teams at once. That is a red flag.

The last point of the book that I made note of had to do with new companies or products. What David Burkus shared is that by targeting the right people that will share the product or service for you.

The majority of illusion, target the right early adopters and you will appear to have a big following.

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

This book was a great reminder for me and encouraged me to be less hesitant when thinking of reconnecting with people that I have not spoken with in a while. Also, I enjoyed the focus on personal relationships and communication amongst people as well as relationship management, which is always important to me. I love valuing others and expressing their importance to me in various ways.

I gave this book a 3/5

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