If you think of gossip as being like an egg, you’ll quickly come to agree that in the food chain of networking, gossip is its own food group. Eggs are the perfect food—they have the right amount of good and bad cholesterol, they can be prepared one hundred different ways, they sate any appetite (breakfast, dinner or 3am) and they go great with Tabasco as well as caviar. And let’s face it, if nothing else, they are one of the world’s greatest mysteries (you know, the one about chickens and eggs).
Gossip is the same. There is that white part that is gelatinous, boring and characterless while in the center of it all is that perfect little yolk—round, succinct, tough and no two come in the same tones of yellow and green. Gossip. Eggs. Eggs. Gossip. Get it?
The key is knowing what to do with it, how to use it, what to throw away and when to bring it into a meal. Of course, tons of people will try to deny that gossip is a part of their diets (like the whites), but anyone knows you can’t make bread from yolks alone.
My man Will was idling away his afternoon at some golfing for dollars tourney when one free range Grade A carelessly dropped into his pan. It turned out that one of the foursome is the neighbor of the brother, and partner, of some whale Will’s been looking to poach. Now, if the fellow simply blabbed about a mistress or something shallow, Will would know enough to turn a deaf ear into that wind. But Mr. Rodgers happens to drop that Shamu’s lead man (the Harvard grad who always has the best cigars) just sired Shamu his first grandson and it clicks for Will that this is the same SOB who’s been keeping his deal at bay. Now, none of this is anything he can use directly. But what it gives him is a little social insight he can leverage. To win the account, Will has to win over the son-in-law. To do that, he has to invite him to lunch to celebrate the baby and, of course, be stocked with a few good cigars.
Remember: Networking isn’t about what you’ve heard, it’s about what you do with it.
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