Magazine article Talent Development

Keith Ferrazzi

Magazine article Talent Development

Keith Ferrazzi

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

CEO and Founder, Ferrazzi Greenlight

Los Angeles, California

Keith Ferrazzi has been designated one of the world's most "connected" individuals by both Forbes and Inc. magazines due to his extensive network of relationships. Ferrazzi Greenlight provides clients with consulting and training services both at the individual and organizational levels. His previous positions include chief marketing officer of Deloitte Consulting, chief marketing officer of Starwood Hotels, and CEO of YaYa Media.

Who's Got Your Back?, Ferrazzi's most recent book, helps readers form an intimate inner circle. He was named a "Global Leader of Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum and one of the top "40 Under 40" business leaders by Crain's Business.

Q WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND STARTING YOUR OWN COMPANY?

Having been a marketer in two big companies and also heading sales in one of them, it was very clear to me that business boiled down to people, whether that be a leader's ability to influence the folks who report to him, an individual employee's ability to influence his peers and counterparts and get things done, or a salesperson's ability to influence and work with his customers and clients in both good and difficult times.

Yet, oddly enough, the people side of the business, also known as the "human resources" function, was one of the least respected and was not considered a peer to the other functions. I really felt that business was about people; marketing was about relationships. I needed to start a firm that was going to draw the business world's attention to that.

Q EXPLAIN YOUR METHODOLOGY BEHIND BUILDING BETTER RELATIONSHIPS.

If you believe that relationships are critical to your business success, either as an individual or as a function, then you clearly would want to focus on those relationships to make them better, quicker.

The methodology boils down to three things. Number one is a mindset or a set of ways to think about relationships in the workplace. On the mindset side, one of the things that can be learned is that when you're reaching out to people, you always reach out with generosity.

Number two is a process, which we call a "relationship action plan. …

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