783. Expert Interview: How Networks Actually Work
David Burkus is a best-selling author, a sought-after speaker, and associate professor of leadership and innovation at Oral Roberts University. His newest book, “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’s delivered keynotes to the leaders of Fortune 500 companies and the future leaders of the United States Naval Academy. His TED talk has been viewed over 1.9 million times and he is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review.
How Networks Actually Work
We know that networking is good for us, but it makes many of us feel so weird. Why is that? What I arrived at is that I think for most of us, when we think about networking, most of us are trying to apply the advice from one of a plethora of useful, but what I call “networking advice books.” And the challenge with advice books is that often they are autobiographical—“This is what I did and it worked for me. So you should do it for you.” And if you think about most, and it’s not to insult them, most of the really popular networking books out there are fascinating. But they are usually about just one person’s story or perspective.
Why Is This Important?
What I tried to do was write, not the anti-networking book, but a book that would be devoid of personal advice. So, I went deep into the world of networking science for the past 50 or 60 years and studied the top mathematicians, sociologists, psychologists and even physicists because of the way that networks interact with so many different fields of study. I wanted to answer the question: What are the principles that are universally true about all networks? This subject has now gotten to the point where it is its own independent discipline. There are journals of network science; there are programs where you can get PhDs in network science.
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Connecting With David Burkus
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