WIKN Mark Kelly & Keith Ferrazi

I had the opportunity to meet with Keith Ferrazzi NY Times Best Selling author at the start of the year. Keith is the author of two NYT bestsellers, including Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back? which is the “Go To Book” for networkers among business people. Keith has been described as the number 1 networker in the world and the king of relationships.

Keith started his life from humble beginnings in Pittsburgh and through very hard work and leading through generosity he was able to become a very successful business man and thought leader. Ferrazzi Greenlight Keith’s company coaches the very top companies such as General Motors and individuals in how to practice vulnerability and emotional intelligence to create and develop powerful relationships.

Having the ability to create and maintain valuable relationships is an incredible skill to have. I place a high value on relationships, so the opportunity to have Keith Ferrazzi best selling author and No 1 Networker in the world as a podcast guest was a fantastic experience.

I could write a small book about life and business lessons after watching Keith speak and spending some time with him in person. I could really relate to his story and his mindset to deliver exceptional value to the people close to him. In the podcast Keith shared with me in more detail his experiences.

In one of these examples Keith told me that as a young caddie he turned up 30 minutes early every morning on the golf course. By turning up 30 minutes earlier than everyone else, it allowed Keith to know the course inside and out, which knocked several shots of his clients strokes. The relationships built on the golf course would prove to play an important part in Keith being able to gain a college education and attend a prestigious University.

The habit of turning up early was matched with a mindset of leading with generosity with relationships. One such relationship that Keith lead through generosity was with the CEO of Deloitte. As an intern for Deloitte Keith asked the CEO what he wanted his legacy to be. The CEO answered moving Deloitte into the top 4 consultancies in the world was his vision under his tenure. Keith wanted to help with this goal, so as a young student went about researching the trends of marketing for the CEO of Deloitte, Keith interviewed the consultancies competition and compiled a paper for the CEO. The CEO was extremely impressed and this would become a pivotal step in Keith joining Deloitte and later becoming the youngest Partner within a Fortune 500 company.

There are two big takeaways I took away that I would like to share with you. The first is that you need to become intentional in your networking. It is okay to purposefully go about building relationships with people rather than it being serendipitous. In Keith’s words “Just because you’re purposeful doesn’t mean it’s fake. It means it’s important.” In order to be successful in life you have to have a genuine interest in individuals and then help them achieve their goals. Keith offers the advice to create a a Relationship Action Plan. The result is that you get to spend time with people you want to spend time with rather than simply letting it happen to you.

The second point, Ferrazzi believes it’s essential to “lead with generosity; lead with being of service to people. The more ‘of service’ you are, the more currency you have, and the more people will want to spend time with you.”

I have found throughout life that if you help people achieve their goals you will naturally achieve your own.

Some more advice that Keith Offers:

  • Face conflict head on and conflict avoidance bad to human society
  • Research several ways you can help a person before you meet them
  • How putting yourself out there (being vulnerable) accelerates a relationship

I really appreciate the time spent with Keith and I learned a lot about the importance of consciously giving more to people and being focused on the end result.

Keith is incredibly giving of his time and experience and I have seen first hand why Keith has been incredibly successful.

Reading material to follow up on:

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I am thinking a lot about how I can improve my relationships and add more value to my network. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to building powerful, vulnerable relationships?im

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