By  Terence Mauri Inc. Magazine Top 100 Leadership Expert, Author, Keynote Speaker, Chair @9others and Start Up Mentor @FutureIdeasOrg. Never Eat Alone refers to the book written by Keith Ferazzi who we interviewed last year. 

Marie Schneegans is the co-founder and CEO of a French startup, Never Eat Alone. The truth is, if you work in a large company or a startup, chances are you always eat alone at your desk or have lunch with the same people in your department. It’s not easy to meet new people. This is a universal problem for thousands of people around the world: connections are missed, ideas are lost, and the work culture suffers as a result. Never Eat Alone puts an end to this. Its goal is to bring individuals together by using a customized lunch app on your phone. List your background and project interests and you can connect with colleagues who share similar goals. As an employee, you get to proactively reach out to anyone in the company, including the CEO, and for the organization, it’s a great way to build a stronger whole-person culture where people bring more of themselves to work every day.

How should you network smarter? A useful analogy is to imagine your own personal boardroom. Ask yourself “Who are the six to twelve individuals I need to build bridges with over time?” A simple knowledge dashboard is a useful way to stay ahead of the learning curve.

  • Watch (e.g., TED)
  • Hear (e.g., podcasts)
  • Read long (e.g., a Harvard Business Review article)
  • Read short (e.g., abstracts and summaries)
  • Read inspirational quotes (e.g., quote for your inner optimist)

Julia Hobsbawm’s impact on the practical study of knowledge networking has made her the world’s first professor in networking and an honorary visiting professor at Cass Business School. She is the founder of Editorial Intelligence, a networking business committed to “developing deeper personal connections and having a more profound understanding of today’s information overloaded landscape.”

Her flagship event, Names Not Numbers (NNN), is an ideas festival where intellectually curious movers and shakers come together for learning and inspiration.

According to her latest research, 69.5 percent of survey respondents agree that “networking is essential for building and managing a career” and 53.3 percent strongly agree that “networking helps productivity because it brings fresh ideas and connections into the workplace.” As social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook take over the world, face-to-face contact is still of primary importance for leaders. A computer cannot trump the power of eye contact, tone of voice, and positive body language that can translate into strong working relationships between people. In a Guardian interview, Hobsbawm argues why face-to-face contact still matters: “People have been so obsessed with social networks that they really haven’t noticed the human side, the non-algorithm side, is still where it’s at.”

To learn fast, you must find multiple mentors. is one such community that knows ideas occur when humans connect and exchange ideas. It was founded in 2011, on the belief that “your success requires the aid of others.” A host and nine others will meet for an informal dinner to mingle, discuss challenges, and share learning. It already has a network of more than 3,500 entrepreneurs in thirty-three cities and is leading the way with a more intelligent approach to networking.

Leader's Mindset

Terence Mauri is the author of The Leader’s Mindset: How To Win In The Age of Disruption out soon on Amazon.


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