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Top of my list, but not top of yours

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It’s a mistake that many, many people make. They assume that everyone sees the world from the same point of view, their point of view.

For example, The Network Effect is clearly at the top of my list of priorities at the moment – I’m proud of what we’ve achieved, and want, quite naturally, to maximise its impact. I also genuinely believe that the book can help a lot of people. So I pick up the phone, late on a Friday afternoon, and call one of my contacts – a senior careers adviser at a top UK business school.

“What did you think of the book?”, I ask. “Brilliant”, she replies. “I haven’t yet read it from cover to cover, but I’ve dipped into it, and everything I’ve read is excellent.” I ask her if she could please put a review on Amazon for us. She pauses, and I jump in with “It needn’t be very long – just a couple of sentences would be fine.” And that’s when I feel I’ve slightly misjudged the situation. It’s Friday afternoon, and her hesitation should have warned me that she doesn’t want to add anything whatsoever to her ‘to do’ list. The book is in no way, shape or form as important to her as it is to me. Nor should it be. And I should have realised that before.

Although I try to take my own advice, and practice what I preach, I don’t always manage. In future, though, I’ll still ask for a review (if you don’t ask, you often don’t get, as the saying goes) – but I’ll keep well away from insisting on a favour.

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Guest Wednesday, 18 October 2017

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