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Home » Become A Better Person

Keith Ferrazzi’s “Who’s Got Your Back” Says Learn from Alcoholics and Dieters

25 June 2009 Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz 2 Comments

Can you make use of Weight Watchers and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) peer support features to help run your job hunt, career or life in general? Keith Ferrazzi author of best seller “Never Eat Alone” says, “Yes!”

I first heard about his book “Who’s Got Your Back” when my wife saw a Ferrazzi’s interview on “Good Morning America.” The same day a business contact mentioned the interview as well. Then my boss forwarded me a link to his interview on Larry King. Something’s up so I figured I’d check it out.

After reading the book I quickly understood why “Good Morning America” gave Ferrazzi so much attention. (See GMA’s Ferrazzi’s interview.) I have to assume he’s got a monstrous publicity machine supporting him, but his content makes their job easy. It makes so much sense.

To demonstrate his program, “Good Morning America” formed a “lifeline relationship” group as prescribed by the book. Their group had four people. The first one wanted help with their job search. The second wanted help losing weight. The third wanted help moving ahead with their career and the fourth wanted help growing her small business. If you view the “Good Morning America” Ferrazzi’s interview, you can see the success they achieved and how this idea can help you.

Ferrazzi’s research revealed that people lack intimate relationships to support them in achieving their goals. They either don’t take the time or aren’t open to getting that intimate. You’d think spouses, family and friends could fill in here, but typically can’t be truly honest for fear of affecting the relationship. But consider what an alcoholic gets from a sponsor to help stay sober. Think about what someone losing weight gets from their weekly Weight Watcher weigh in group. They get people willing to hold them accountability when they fall short on their commitments.

Who’s Got Your Back” recommends forming this band of “lifeline relationships” like a personal board of directors using a mindset of generosity, vulnerability, candor and accountability. He discusses generosity because we have to give before we can receive. Many of us feel like we are imposing on others when we ask for help, but he argues that enlisting others to support us is actually an act of generosity. People typically want to help and feel rewarded just by being a part of your success. You are being less than generous by NOT including them.

Ferrazzi wants us to risk being vulnerable. It’s the only way others can feel safe being truly honest with us. We need them to help us see our shortcomings so we can at least be aware of them and consider addressing them. Safety may feel good on the surface, but it may be postponing our dealing that problem until it runs us aground with consequences too painful to ignore it any longer.

Having a mindset of candor doesn’t mean people will rip us to shreds, but it does mean they are committed to giving us the feedback we need. They know we need it to succeed. Finally, we must be open to being held accountable. If these people take their job as serious as an AA sponsor or a Weight Watcher group, you’ve got what Ferrazzi recommends.

This makes so much sense to me and more so because Ferrazzi is using proven methods. He’s using approaches proven by Weight Watchers that’s been around since the 1960’s and AA started by Bill Wilson in the 30’s. Ferrazzi’s approach is to enlist peers taking the same approach but on a different aspect of our lives.

The book spells out different ways to search out people for your group. It’s a bit like dating so not everyone will fit. It may take some trial and error to get the right mix, but it’s worth the work because of the results you can achieve.

I’ve started to develop my “lifeline relationships” after reading this book. I know I need all the help I can get with all I have going on in my life. I’ve launched a program to help people form job hunt clubs using these concepts. This can make a huge difference in improving the results achieved by job hunters.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress I make and am planning to report on the success stories from the job hunt groups I see forming. Please share your results with us.


Jorge Lazaro Diaz

Jorge Lazaro Diaz is the "Original" Career Jockey who started this blog and now serves as the Managing Editor. You'll find he enjoys focusing on professional and personal development articles and frequently covers motivational and spiritual topics.

You can learn so much about this author by clicking here.

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