Never Eat Alone

The tight schedule due to business priorities had put me on a reading fast for past few weeks. Yesterday, I decided to break that fast and get a nice book to read. I spotted a book that had an interesting title ‘Never eat alone’ by Keith Ferrazzi. I went over the pages and finalized to check it out from library. After reading its first 10 pages, I thought that it matched with many of my thoughts and hence thought of putting them down in this blog.

First of all, the title is pretty much in line with the philosophy of how I would like to grow our business/organization. I truly believe in growing together and there is lot of fun in growing together rather than growing alone. When all of your team members dream and get passionate to work on the defined goals and work towards the same mission and vision, the energy and enthusiasm is contagious. This makes it easier and faster to achieve the objectives.

Its hardly 10 pages that I have read; however, another point that I liked was to respect the relationships. Somehow, I have never been comfortable to go out and network with people with an intention to seek favors from them. Here the author has beautifully explained that we should not keep scores which makes you to remain unbiased and relentlessly trust the relationship. Indeed, when nobody keeps scores, they tend to help and seek help without having to tally the scores.

I understand that one may think that this is not necessarily in reality that others will not keep a score even though you may help them wholeheartedly. Well, for those, I have a very simple question – ‘Who controls you?’ Do you realize that when you tend to think on those lines, you tend to lose your control and obviously lose the focus of your objectives? The net result – You then start being very cautious about that person. In short, you start losing control of your own and start getting controlled by others. Next, you start slowly judging or keeping a track of when was the last time he had helped you, why should you help him etc. As you may notice, in this process although you had an intention of helping, you feel not to.

Do not mistake this with dependence. I tend to avoid creating dependency which sucks and makes one lazy. That’s one of the reasons why I ensure that nobody gets a spoon feeding when we get someone trained in our organization. We set the expectations on what is expected towards the end of the goal. This also helps to evaluate the learning curve of the person and how much would he be able to manage the assignment himself without relying on others much, except for genuine help. Indeed, he needs to establish the relationship with existing folks so that he will be helped, i.e. if he eats alone, he needs to digest it all by himself :-).

I don’t think that this is something new either. This is similar to the thought –‘United we stand, divided we fall’. There are many literature written on this in different variations. In all versions, we see that victory begets those who work together towards the same goal. So, why venture alone when there is so much of fun when you win it along with your friends/near and dear ones? The important part is to share with them who support you to make it happen with equal trust and confidence. I would summarize it as ‘United we eat and serve better, divided we starve and beg’ 🙂

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