IBG 58 – David Burkus – Redefining What it Means to Network for Introverts

July 13, 2018 / By Sarah Santacroce

Conventional wisdom tells us that networking is about working a room and winning the most business cards. But does the traditional model truly promote authentic connections that will last long-term? Is there a better way to approach networking that builds deeper relationships faster—in a setting where introverts can thrive?

David Burkus is a best-selling author and associate professor of leadership and innovation at Oral Roberts University. His is also a sought-after speaker, delivering keynotes for Fortune 500 companies as well as military leaders at the US Naval Academy and Naval Postgraduate School. In 2017, David was named as one of Thinkers50’s top thought leaders in business, and he is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review.

Today, David shares his journey to becoming a non-fiction writer, discussing what inspired him to use storytelling to write about the social sciences. He explains how book sales fuel the speaking engagements that make up the majority of his revenue. David describes the idea behind his latest book, Friend of a Friend, and its aim to redefine what it means to network. Listen in for David’s insight on shared activity as a powerful alternative to traditional networking and learn how introverts can thrive in a model that supports deeper connection!

In this episode you’ll learn…

  • David’s inspiration to use storytelling to write about the social sciences.
  • How books sales fuel the speaking engagements in David’s business model.
  • Why David looks forward to the performance aspect of his work as a writer.
  • David’s insight on reading as an important part of a writer’s job.
  • David’s challenge around collaborating with others during the editing process.
  • How typical networking advice books contradict the principles of social science.
  • David’s aim to redefine what it means to network.
  • The idea of a shared activity as a powerful alternative to traditional networking.
  • How multiplexity supports people in building deeper connections faster.
  • David’s practice of sharing the best part of his day with his kids.
  • How David leverages Contactually to maintain connections with his database.
  • How The Opposable Mind helped David develop a new approach to decision-making.

Other links and resources mentioned in this episode:

David’s Website

David on Twitter

David on Facebook

David on LinkedIn

Friend of a Friend: Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career by David Burkus

David’s Books

David’s TED Talk

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

Elizabeth Gilbert

Susan Cain

LinkedIn Local


The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking by Roger L. Martin

Creating Great Choices: A Leader’s Guide to Integrative Thinking by Jennifer Riel and Roger L. Martin

Sarah’s Book List

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Sarah Santacroce

Sarah is an internationally recognized LinkedIn Specialist & Online Presence Mentor who has personally coached, mentored and guided over 1,900 entrepreneurs. She helps them position themselves as experts on LinkedIn, shows them how to find & express their unique voice & stand out as thought leaders. As a result they find their tribe, get the recognition they deserve & a steady flow of clients – with ease & not sleaze. In addition to her LinkedIn expertise, Sarah is known for helping fellow introverts market their business authentically & anxiety-free, sell their services & make a difference. She’s also the host of the ‘Introvert Biz Growth’ podcast where she has conversations with introverts who have grown their business using their introverted super powers. She lives in beautiful Switzerland where she was born and raised, but considers herself an alternative thinking citizen of this world who’s on a mission to bring more kindness to business. When she’s not working she loves adventure & traveling (ask her about her alter ego in Sicily), yoga & nature walks or hanging out with her 3 boys (a husband and two teenage sons).

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