Who's Got Your Back?

In this book, described as "the breakthrough program to build deep, trusting relationships that create success -- and won't let you fail," Keith Ferrazzi tells a number of personal stories about the meaningful relationships in his life that led him to success.  All of these stories recount relationships with common themes such as collaboration, constructive feedback, support, energy and creativity. The author describes these relationships as "enlisting the help and advice of others to help you become who you can be.  This kind of peer-to-peer support and feedback is the often unacknowledged key behind the achievements of so many of the high-performing people I come in contact with every day."

He goes on to discuss the value in seeking out help and getting feedback in return:  "Getting good feedback from others helps us to become more aware of what we're doing well and what we're not, from the practical (assessing our strengths and weaknesses) to the spiritual (what truly makes us happy)."  Most of the relationships he writes about involve professional relationships either with people he has worked for and people who have worked for him, or trusted advisors he came to know through his professional life.  Although his was a professional circle of friends, he explains that these relationships are applicable in every aspect of one's life.

Keith Ferrazzi succinctly put it:  "whoever the individuals and groups are and however they are viewed from the outside, within the trusted circle of advisors they've created and the mutual support they offer, they are peers.  That's worth repeating: peers.  Equals.  Even though one of them may have clear organizational authority -- and the title and decision-making power to go with it -- each member functions as a highly respected equal, offering up creative ideas, candid feedback and criticism voiced with authentic concern for the others' interests, and rigorous attention to accountability around goals, goal setting, follow-through, and of course results.  Each member has free, open, and respectful permission to call the others out when they are falling short (because we all fall short, and most of us, as I know well, tend to do so repeatedly."

This is exactly what is encouraged here at Lawline, and can be improved upon every day.  If we all view each other as peers - as equals - and come to each other for help and advice, we will get the feedback and develop the relationships we need in order to succeed, not only as individuals, but as a team. A group that works well together, cares about each other, and encourages each other can't help but grow.

On a side note, Keith Ferrazzi quotes Tom Rath's book "Vital Friends," which cites research from the Gallup Organization: "people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs...Not only are these people more joyful and more apt to innovate, take risks, collaborate, and share bold new ideas, but their customers are more engaged as well."

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