Book Review: Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends

Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends is a non-fiction business book focused on knowledge sharing and networking and how to leverage these with open compassion.  It is authored by Tim Sanders and published by Crown Business.

I was drawn to this book after a recommendation by someone in my professional network.  In the same vein as my previous book review on Lift, I was drawn to the positive focus of professional development.  All too often in today’s business world you hear and experience greed, selfishness, and just plain rude behavior as people try to climb over others to get ahead.  Unfortunately, these are tenants of a past generation that were held up as the way to become successful.  Squash your rivals and competition, hoard knowledge and you too can be a superstar!  Love is the Killer App is really the antithesis of this approach.  Sanders formulates and uses real world examples of how building knowledge a solid network and regularly applying compassion in your professional life will go much further in advancing your career in a sustainable fashion.

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At the basic level Sanders formulates that 3 basic components converge to make a person a truly exceptional influencer:

Knowledge – by continually building your wisdom and being willing to openly share this with others you become viewed as a valued source.

Network – by building your network you not only create a web of advocates, you also develop a foundation of individuals to learn from and grow.

Compassion – sincerity in helping others is key.  To only do something for others to get something in return will sometimes pay dividends but will not add to depth of relationship that lasts.

The point is really to be willing to be open and help others and be seen as a wealth of knowledge.  Sharing your knowledge with others flies in the face of the old model of knowledge is power so you should keep it all to yourself. The argument is that you set yourself up more to be seen as valued by others over the long run and throughout your career rather than a mini tyrant who experiences short-term gain through information hoarding. Don’t get me wrong there are lots of people who have built their little fiefdoms hoarding information.  These people typically don’t do well when in a situation where they are moving from one career to another. Their success seems dependent on keeping a strangle hold on a single position and making themselves a single point of failure for the organization.  In this day and age where people move around a lot more professionally, that isn’t a sustainable model.

Personally, I was raised to always be helpful to others and not expect something in return, but professionally it seemed like the message was protect yourself and your “assets” and keep people at arm’s length.  Help only in mutually beneficial situations otherwise stay out of it.  This has always created internal conflict, as part of me enjoys helping others, while at the same time I fear losing leverage in doing so.  This book helped me see a path where helping others and showing true compassion in my professional life can be achievable and in line with my personal values.  Furthermore, Sander’s message resonated with my penchant for seeing the long view.  His outlined approach really is geared for long-term successes, whereas the old model is focused on near-term fleeting wins.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone who is tired of the old knowledge hoarding paradigm.  I enjoyed the less stuffy writing style Sander’s employs, though some may find some of the message a little too “hippie, free love” focused.  I would just encourage the reader to keep an open mind and apply your own examples and experiences to the messages as you read.  Feel free to share your thoughts on the book in the comments below.  Would love to hear some other perspectives!

About the author: Heath

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