I love getting galley copies of books from authors. I have never received an advanced copy of a book and not loved it. It is because my brain is pre-wired to love it. Why? Because someone thinks that my opinion matters, and that my review will be valuable.
When I was in my 20's (many years ago) I got called out when I said "Oh, I know them, they are one of my very good friends" and then it was uncovered that I was never in the same room with that person. Ever.
Tom! I thought you said that you were good friends?!?
Ah, we are very good "phone friends" was my reply.
Phone Friends. That was actually a thing back in the day.
Before there was Zoom and email and texting, there was - telephone. And talking on the phone was the center of all relationships. Friends, clients, customers, it was all about getting them on the phone. I remember when having someone's "direct line" was a big deal. And you better never get caught giving out that private number. That was taboo. You never wanted to hear "how did you get this number?" Oh man, that is a hole that you don't usually dig out of.Adam Grant is one of my very good friends. I wonder if he knows that? He is on our website. We exchange emails. He likes my tweets. Enough to retweet me, on occasion. But we never met in real life. So this made me pause: can you be friends with someone if you never meet in real life? Can you be Zoom friends?
I met Simon in real life. And I met Seth in real life. And Malcolm and Dan. And without clicking on their names, you probably know who they are - well maybe not Dan but he is very cool indeed. But I never met Adam - in real life. I guess you really have made it when you only need a first name to be recognized. Hey wait - Adam IS the first name - as in the first name ever!
Daniel, Brene, Bill and Melinda have given great praise to Adam's new book. So did M. Night Shyamalan. But I am not sure that they are all good friends in real life - or they all might just be the 2021 version of phone friends.
I shall do a video podcast with Adam. Our fireside Zoom chats have become "a thing" and we now call them Coffee In the Clouds. And now we have done CITC with actors, authors, athletes, comedians, musicians. I might never meet these people in real life. I hope that we shall indeed meet many of our CITC guests, but we may not. And with COVID, I am not totally sure what travel will look like for the near future.
Adam does not need anyone's help to make his books become best sellers - but I don't think he will turn down any help - especially during a pandemic. His four previous books have sold millions of copies and have been translated into 35 languages. His TED talks have been viewed more than 20 million times. His speaking and consulting clients include Google, the NBA, and the Gates Foundation. (Ah ha! He probably DID meet Bill and Melinda - in real life).
From his new book: Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there's another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn. If knowledge is power, knowing what we don't know is wisdom.
I'll be gifting Adam's new book to the members of NYDLA. Adam did not know this before this blog post - I guess that is the power of "knowing what you don't know" in action.
Yeah, that's what good friends do for each other - even if they never met.