Reach Out: The Simple Strategy by Molly Ford Beck
The More People You Know, The More Stuff You Can Get Done
In REACH OUT, author Molly Beck provides a plan for drastically improving your network. Early in her career, the author realized the important of networking. Since then, she makes it a point to add a new contact every day:
“I’ve been Reaching Out daily for years now, and this strategy alone has single-handedly changed my professional career trajectory”
The essence of the Reach-Out plan is to identify your “targets” and launch a plan to winningly connect with each target. Molly calls this the “Reach Out Strategy Plan.” The idea is simple--You schedule a time each day to contact a “target.” Here’s the key: You offer at least two “gifts,” then perhaps ask a favor. The idea is to offer something genuinely helpful, and not just try to freeload off people.
The author lists different possibilities for gifts. A gift can be a lead, some special information, an introduction, or perhaps a free copy of your book. Something simple, but genuinely useful.
The author suggests first doing a simple “Love/Don’t Love Career Test.” On a piece of paper, list “Love” on one side, and “Don’t Love” on the other. Think of your regular activities and sort them to either side. Then, list some ways to do more of the “Love” things and less of the bad stuff. Finally, “brainstorm all the different people who could help you reach your goals.” These folks are your potential Targets.
There is one really important point in this book that would be easy to miss. Here it is: The contacts that are on the edge of your network will likely yield more fruit than your base. What—how can that be? Molly explains this paradox:
“Strong ties tend to give us redundant knowledge.”
That is, your close friends and colleagues tend to just repeat ideas that you already know about. It’s the many distant contacts that yield new information and ideas.
The author does a few things that make this book a LOT easier to read: First, she has simple bullet points at the end of each chapter, covering the main points. Secondly, she provides, in Appendix B, a summary of each action item, chapter by chapter. She calls this, “Your Reach Out Strategy Plan.”
So all in all, I found REACH OUT to be a useful, practical book, with a few really golden nuggets. I especially liked her explanation of the importance of peripheral contacts. If you get nothing else from this book, don’t miss that point.
For another good book on the subject, I really like Keith Ferrazzi’s “Never Eat Alone.”
Reach Out: The Simple Strategy You Need to Expand Your Network and Increase Your Influence by Molly Ford Beck