“The man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want.”
— Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.”
Willy Loman never did understand that there was more to success than being liked.
A couple of years ago I was asked to give a talk on networking. I asked the organizer, why me? I believe networking as taught by many business gurus and commonly practiced in today’s marketplace is little more than professional panhandling. She snapped back, that’s exactly why we want you to give the talk.
Seeing that I was now committed, I went to work putting together my thoughts on building professional relationships. My talk was well-received and I have given it a few more times since. Here’s what I told the group.
First, and foremost, approach the world with an attitude and behavior of being a friend, not finding a friend. You must have a sincere interest in others’ success, with no expectation of reciprocity.