networking books

The Best Books for Building a Network

Our new book, “Superconnector,” is more than just 10-plus years of community building experience from myself and my co-founder, Scott Gerber. It’s chock full of relationship-building advice and inspiration from the people we admire the most, many of whom are authors themselves and inspired us as we penned our story.

So many of the intangible skill sets that define great HR careerists — emotional intelligence, attention to detail, resourcefulness — are already well aligned with how our favorite superconnectors operate in their day-to-day lives.

These authors all touched our lives. We hope that they’ll have the same impact on you, too.

Embracing “Habitual Generosity”

Superconnectors know their greatest returns come when they least expect them, and by putting others’ needs first, the good karma seems to flow back to them tenfold. John Ruhlin is the hallmark of generosity. In his book, “Giftology,” you’ll learn how to give gifts that make a real impact, from not spoiling them with your company logo branded all over the place, to picking the right time to actually send a gift (Hint: It’s not in December).

The case for company culture built in generosity is stronger than ever, and HR leaders are in the driver’s seat when it comes to making it happen for their organizations. Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of “Give and Take,” has been a forefront advocate since the book hit shelves in 2013. The content is just as relevant today. Grant’s book is a perfect crash course for instilling the concepts of habitual generosity into your organization.

What Type Of Connector Are You?

Being a great relationship builder doesn’t start by understanding other people. It starts by understanding yourself. In their book, “Get Big Things Done,” Erica Dhawan and Saj-nicole Joni, Ph.D. will help you unlock the power of connectional intelligence and determine what type of connector you are. Take it a step further by teaching this wisdom to your team, setting them up for success in building better relationships to support themselves and your organization.

While you’re at it, dispel the myth that all great connectors are life-of-the-party extroverts. Through writing Superconnector, we actually uncovered a lot of evidence to suggest the opposite. In Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet,” you’ll learn how we undervalue introverts in our society and, in turn, what we lose.

Long story short; as an HR leader (and superconnector in training) you have to understand how people work. Vanessa Van Edwards, author of “Captivate,” can provide you with shortcuts, systems and behavioral hacks to take control of your relationships at work. Just like an engineer needs to know the right programming languages to write a piece of innovative software, understanding the science of people will make help you become a better leader.

The Path To True Success

Our book is about unlearning the years of bad advice that has led us to take a transactional, me-first approach to building business relationships — or to believe that quantity-over-quality vanity metrics matter. Michael Ellsberg, author of “The Education of Millionaires,” covers this even further. Through interviews with the likes of fashion mogul Marc Ecko, founding president of Facebook Sean Park, Paul Mitchell founder John Paul DeJoria and others, we learn that the most successful people actually have small inner circles. He recommends this approach rather than casting a wide net.

As the humans behind human resources, we owe it to ourselves to understand how building better relationships makes our organizations better, too. And by taking the time to not only embrace these concepts but transfer the knowledge to others, we truly begin to shape a workforce worth getting excited about.

These books are all a good place to get started.


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