It’s been quite a challenge writing a review for Neal Schaffer’s book “Understanding, Leveraging & Maximizing LinkedIn”. If you read my earlier blog – you will know that I think Neal’s site is one of the best resources for people starting to use LinkedIn. I’d also been enthused by the preface and early chapters of the book. In my fledgling attempts at blogging, I’ve also been fortunate to exchange a few emails (and Neal’s been nice enough to take time to comment on my blog and give advice).
Anyway, the good news is that after reading the book I like Neal even more! He’s a real enthusiast for life and LinkedIn – and the book has consistent themes that I agree with such as “Pay it Forward”, “Trusted Networks of Advisors” and “Dig Your Well before You’re Thirsty”. Some books I end up skimming through – but this one I lingered on and enjoyed Neal’s personal presentation of each topic. It was fun learning about LinkedIn with him as the tutor. I certainly picked up ideas around Groups and Answers that I was not aware of – and got a real feel for LinkedIn’s corporate culture.
My one criticism (sorry Neal) – was the assumption that I was/wanted to be a “Windmill Networker”. I knew from Neal’s website that his company was Windmill Networking – but didn’t realise that he has such a strong desire for readers to be part of this “club”. Neal rightly impresses on the reader from the start of the book that you should consider carefully, clearly define (and stick to) your LinkedIn Objectives and Brand. I felt that the “Windmill Networker” emphasis detracted from my Objectives and Brand.
I feel bad about writing the above – as the few personal dealings, Neal’s blog and the enthusiasm that comes over in this self published book is infectious. So, I thought I would go out and buy another LinkedIn book/manual to compare. Enter “Sams Teach Yourself LinkedIn in 10 Minutes by Patrice-Anne Rutledge”….
This is a handy little book, clearly written and well illustrated. It’s a book you can easily flick through – and get a good set of instructions on anything you would practically want to do in LinkedIn. The author is obviously a skilled technical writer – as can be seen from her credits (e.g. The Truth about Profiting from Social Networking from Pearson/FT Press).
However, and I am VERY happy to say this, it wasn’t a patch on Neal’s book! The secret is that Neal writes as an enthusiast who discovered LinkedIn at a tricky time in his career (moving back to the US from Japan) – and learnt the system, worked the system … and selflessly shared/shares his knowledge with others. It is a “How to…” manual – but it’s also much more that that. It’s an impassioned, self-published work that helps “anyone” exploring the idea of developing their Personal Network through LinkedIn by showing IT CAN BE DONE – and helps them to do it! Go out and get yourself a copy….. (read more here)
Thank you, Neal – but do remember, some of us are of the Groucho Marx disposition … “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member”!
Thank you so much for reviewing my book! Yes, “Windmill Networking” is not everyone’s cup of tea, and I tried to make it an optional part of the book experience. That being said, I do think by showing the opposite “open networking” side to everyone’s traditional “closed networking” perspective that I would open up some eyes and get some thinking. The fact that you have reached out and contacted me shows that I have had success with you even if you won’t join my club 😉 I’m honored to know you and look forward to your future blog posts!
P.S. I’m also a big Groucho Marx fan 😉
Thanks Neal – I thought you might make me one of your dreaded IDKs (I Don’t Knows) after you’d read the review;-) I am enjoying the Personal Network journey – and your LinkedIn blog and book are my preferred guides along that part of the path. I’ve not decided whether I am going to build my expertise/network in a small group (keeping to Dunbar’s magic 150) – or head more in your direction of growing a large network of potential clients for products/services I can develop over time. More work on the overall Objectives and Branding for me!!
We are very much defining the journey as we speak with our own words and actions, so I am looking forward to the direction that you move. Sticking with Dunbar’s number is a natural way to begin, but I do believe that you will “see the light” in my recommendations sooner rather than later 😉 But, as I say in my book, whatever you do has to be aligned with your LinkedIn Objective and LinkedIn Brand.
Take care my friend, and please continue to stay in touch!
[…] super secret (and really really really hard to learn) part of this.” This mantra is called “Pay it Forward” by Neal Schaffer, “Giver’s Gain” by Dr. Ivan Misner, “Don’t keep score” by Keith […]