Who’s got your back?

This post summarizes my takeaways from Keith Ferrazzi’s Who’s Got Your Back, recommended by my friend Kathleen.  Kathleen, you are definitely in my inner circle! 😉

I thoroughly enjoyed what the book had to teach me, and I hope you find some of the strategies I relay useful as well!  Being smart and natural talent can give you an initial leg-up.  A hard-working and tenacious attitude will get you even further.  But the true key to success in any professional field–and in all situations, for that matter–is deep, trusting personal relationships!

Ferrazzi first lists and describes the four mind-sets necessary to build these sort of impactful relationships:

  1. Generosity
  2. Vulnerability
  3. Candor
  4. Accountability

Then, he teaches tangible strategies for how to develop these mind-sets:

  • The art of the long slow dinner: opt out of small talk, and instead, delve into a meaningful conversation about professional and personal goals; are you on the same wavelength?  If so, maybe this person could be part of your…
  • Personal accountability team: build a team of advisors with whom you meet or connect regularly to keep each other accountable for progress toward your goals, to help you edit your goals if necessary, and to inspire you with their successes
  • Write down why you want it: in the midst of simply needing to “get things done,” we forget to reflect on if and why we want the goals toward which we are striving; get into the habit of making sure you are investing time and effort on tasks that truly bring you one step closer to your desired goal
  • Collaborate, don’t compromise: the concept of “compromise” connotes sacrifice from both parties; instead, view and treat disagreement as an opportunity to work together and create a mutually beneficial plan and eventual outcome

Through working with individuals in Washington this summer and reading this book in tandem, I’ve learned the value of giving back, in all forms of the phrase.  There is incredible power in a humanitarian career, community service, and even a real conversation.


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