November 23, 2014

Recently, I had the honor of hearing Keith Ferrazzi, New York Times best-selling author of Who’s Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone, speak during the Gazelles FORTUNE Leadership Summit. His message emphasizes strong social connections and solid relationships as high-profile values that are as desirable as (or possibly more so than) technical skills and longevity of experience. Ferrazzi said:

High-performing teams are dependent on just two things – peer-to-peer accountability and a high degree of candor.

He’s reminding us that hyper-linked, super-social networks simply aren’t enough– the connections must be deeper, more genuine, respectful and honoring. For relationships and connections to shift from lateral sprawl to vertical lift, teams must be rooted in accountability and immersed in candor. Ferrazzi’s focus is on the importance of key relationships – how deep, trusting relationships with significant people like friends, colleagues and mentors create success and can change your life. Specifically, during his presentation Ferrazzi noted:

  • The highest returns come from relationships that are relational and collaborative;
  • You find the greatest alignment when you move your team’s motivations from “internal” and “intellectual” to “emotional” and “external”;
  • Research shows that having high social capital resulted in larger bonuses and faster promotions for individuals, and teams that form more creative solutions and achieve goals faster;
  • The “people” part of the plan is as important as the task list and budget.

I have seen this throughout my coaching and strategic-execution experiences – when a team comes together aligned around a common goal, is committed to each individual’s success and the team’s success, and is steadfast in their candor, the velocity is unstoppable and the possibilities are limitless.