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Summary

Just Ask: Why Seeking Support Is Your Greatest Strength (2020) was written for those unable to ask for help and to encourage everyone to do so in their time of need. The piece by the professional networking master, Andy Lopata, delves into the importance of seeking support as a way to reach our goals and boost our well-being. Providing real-life stories, interviews and practical tips, the book embraces the mindset of making a positive change in one's life and finding new strength through collaboration with others.

UK-based writer, speaker and strategist Andy Lopata has been called one of Europe's leading business networking strategists by the Financial Times. Lopata has written several books on building professional relationships, such as Recommended: How to Sell Through Networking and Referrals (2011) and Connected Leadership: How Professional Relationships Underpin Executive Success (2020). Through interviews, real-life stories and practical advice, he addresses the subjects of networking, collaboration and connectivity as ways to boost sales and drive self-empowerment.

©2021 SAGA Egmont (P)2021 SAGA Egmont

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Vulnerability, networking and great storytelling

This book grabbed me from the introduction, where Andy Lopata shares the long and arduous journey of writing and rewriting "Just Ask" and how he himself had to overcome difficulties with asking for help in the process.

Having the word "just" in the title could leave potential readers with the impression that asking is presented as an easy or natural act. However, in the very first chapter we are told "it's not that simple". This was the second point that made me stick with the book.

Through engaging storytelling the rest of the book delves into the subtleties and complexities of being vulnerable and open with your network. Some of the aspects it covers are:
- asking for help in business vs. personal context
- gender differences when reaching out
- generational differences
- cultural differences
- being private vs. oversharing and the role of social media
- the effects of vulnerability on mental health

One thing stood out for me most of all. It's very easy to assume that "just asking" would come easily to people who are good at networking. So, having a book on vulnerability written by a networking expert is invaluable.

I also liked Chris Jenkins's narration and think he has found the right tone for the topic.