Episode 17

David Burkus on the Science of Networking

“Humans are multifaceted, so you must be multi-fascinated.” – David Burkus

David Burkus is the author of several books including Friend of a Friend: Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career.

Friend of a Friend offers readers a new perspective on how to grow their networks and build key connections—one based on the science of human behavior, not rote networking advice. He is also the author of Under New Management and The Myths of Creativity.

David is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review and his work has been featured in Fast Company, the Financial Times, Inc magazine, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and CBS This Morning.

David’s innovative views on leadership have earned him invitations to speak to leaders from a variety of organizations. He’s delivered keynote speeches and workshops for Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Stryker and governmental and military leaders at the U.S. Naval Academy and Naval Postgraduate School. His TED talk has been viewed over 1.8 million times.

When he’s not speaking or writing, David is in the classroom. He is associate professor of leadership and innovation at Oral Roberts University where he was recently named one of the nation’s “Top 40 Under 40 Professors Who Inspire.”

Show Notes

  • David’s big idea for writing Friend of a Friend and why he chose to explain how networks actually work.
  • Why you can’t actually grow your network.
  • Misconceptions about networking.
  • Why the goal shouldn’t be about having a big network and what should be the focus instead.
  • Why it’s important for people to understand the network they are already in.
  • Why who you know is less important than who knows what you know/do.
  • Multiplexity – what it is and how it’s a context for connection.
  • Homophily – what it means and why it’s so valuable to pay attention to if you want to strengthen your network.
  • Networking insights from Ben and Jerry of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream
  • Why asking “What do you do?” is not a great way to start a conversation with someone you’ve met for the first time and something that may be better to ask.
  • How uncommon commonalities can help you build a stronger, bigger and more valuable network.
  • What the majority illusion is and how Tim Ferriss used it to build his personal brand.
  • What David means by “hidden network” and how he coaches people to enhance the relationships within it.
  • Tool recommendations that can help manage the connections within your networks.
  • What David means by “pressing pause on making new contacts” for working parents.
  • The question you should ask yourself when starting out in networking.
  • Networking mistake David made that he’s learned the most from.

Links from the Episode
Episode Transcription
Friend of a Friend by David Burkus
David’s TED Talks

Personal Contact Management Tools

Guest: David Burkus
Twitter: https://twitter.com/davidburkus/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drdavidburkus 
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidburkus 

Host: Robert Glazer
Twitter: https://twitter.com/robert_glazer/ 
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/glazer

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