From Renewable Energy in Ukraine to State-of-the-Art Airport Parking in Seattle

Last week I asked my Tip of the Week Community to tell me about yourself and the cool stuff you’re working on. You guys BOWLED US OVER with your answers to my question, “What’s the coolest thing you’re working on?

From renewable energy in Ukraine to state-of-the-art airport parking in Seattle, you guys are up to some amazing things. Below, see a cut of some of the most interesting. (If you’re not on it, it doesn’t mean your project isn’t great – this is just a quick sampling!)

I bet there’s things you’ll see on that list that will inspire you, as they did me – or things that you know you could help with. Now imagine being part of a learning community surrounded by people who feel just like you do – inspired and wanting to help. THAT is what I’m creating with myGreenlight, along with the program itself: an incredible action-based curriculum, tons of tools and resources, and a smart, knowledgeable staff.

Soon we’ll be announcing another limited-time special membership offer for the Tip of the Week list only. Please give it a read and consider the program for yourself. (If you’d like to join that list, subscribe at in the top right corner.)

If you see your project on the list below, and would like to identify yourself and add the URL in the comments, go for it! And if you’re not on the list, please comment to share the coolest thing YOU’RE working on! Continue reading

The Greenlight Highlight: How a Marketing Development Manager’s Mastery of the Relationship Mindsets Boosts his Business and Career Opportunities

Saul Marquez
Marketing Development Manager for NuVasive
Chicago, IL
Greenlight Member Since: 2010
Nominated by Greenlighter – Mark Jewell

Elevator Pitch: I want to be the best at everything that I do, live life purposefully and help others do the same. I work diligently in the advancement of spinal procedures and minimally disruptive spine procedures. I work with surgeons across the U.S. to make back surgery less painful and with quicker recovery.

What experience in your past was the moment you recognized how important relationships are to your success?

The one that sticks out immediately is my speech team experience in college. As the competition season unrolled a head-scratcher was revealed. It wasn’t always the best speech that won the prize and I started to see a trend among the recurring winners. They were always the same people hanging out with the judges and those who knew them by first name. I realized I needed to figure that out if I wanted to win. I started making a greater effort to rub shoulders with the decision makers and by the end of the second season, I was in the winners’ pool. I learned that those wins by others were not unearned. They had taken the time to prepare to connect with the audience. I learned that the real point of getting to know the judges was about creating intimacy with the audience and making a connection to pave the way for my presentation. Continue reading

Max Lyons: The Transformational Impact of Service

MyGreenlighter Max Lyons went with Keith to Guatemala – here’s an excerpt of his post Max sponsored Liza's education for the next year.from

Keith and I met just over a year ago through myGreenlight. After a brief conversation about his prior trips to Guatemala and Cambodia/Thailand, Keith invited me to join a return effort to Guatemala.

Having not met anyone else on the trip, I flew down here with a sense that I was stepping into the unknown. Our group spent the past week partnering with local organizations, working with children, and dreaming about the unlocked potential lying dormant within the lives of these little ones. After the first few days here in Antigua, I discovered two core things through my involvement:

1. Our contributions are catalyzing substantial long-term change: In my time in Guatemala, I was able to see what has transpired since the last visit Keith made. During the previous trip a local couple was discovered who opened up their small house to provide free schooling for kids in their village. Once limited by special restrictions, the couple is now able to provide schooling to over 60 children thanks to recent construction.

Click here to read the full post on

The Greenlight Highlight: Keith’s Executive Assistant Shares the Value of Building Relationships with Gatekeepers

MyGreenlight’s monthly community member spotlight interview.

Shannon Stewart
Executive Assistant to Keith Ferrazzi
Los Angeles, CA
Ferrazzi Greenlight Team Member Since:  August/2009

Elevator Pitch:These days, my entire elevator pitch is about my son. He’s such a cool kid and I love spending time with him. He’s really into art right now and I’m really into art so we are all about anything that has to do with art exploration.

What incident from your past do you recall being the moment it clicked for you that relationships make the difference to your success in business?

10 years ago I recognized that business is about who you know. My partner works in the entertainment industry and the dinner parties and events that must be attended to manage staying employed brings it all home for you. Whatever you are trying to accomplish, connections make things move a lot smoother.

Favorite Relationship Mastery Mindset and why:

For me, intimacy and generosity go hand in hand. Those two qualities in a relationship allow you to be most accountable towards each other. I always strive to develop a rapport for delivering generosity. It’s allowed me to develop partnerships with other executive assistants in various organizations. Our collaborations become an easier process because we have taken the time to get to know each other.

What still presents a challenge for you in building relationships that you continue to work on?

When I really know and care about someone, candor still presents a challenge for me. The closer I am to you, the more difficult it is for me to tell you what you need to know vs. what you want to know. My innate pleaser personality, squelches the willpower to be truly accountable to someone I care for and tell them the really harsh truths. I’m working on it.

What’s the coolest things you’re working on at home or at work right now?

At home, I’ve been creating an art space for my son because he’s really shown an interest in it lately. It’s a great space for him to get messy with minimal boundaries.  At work, I’ve been very engaged in the development of the new GM project.  It has allowed me to connect with some new individuals within and external to the organization.

How has putting a thoughtful process around your relationship development benefitted your business?

What I do for Keith has greatly facilitated and accelerated by my ability to put relationship development into practice. With so much distance and time between interactions with some of my colleagues, staying on their radar can be challenging.  I like to fill time gaps with gifts. I make sure that I pay attention to our conversations and pick up on hobbies, favorites, children and grandchildren’s names, but at the minimum most of us executive assistants can bond over one must-have of the job, Starbucks gifts cards. We can’t get through our day without a coffee run, so these are always appreciated. These small tokens add up to a ready-to-assist collaborative partner when it’s time to coordinate our next project together.

What advice would you give to new members of the community that you have found to be best practices for relationship mastery?

My normal state is to stick to myself.  If you’re like me, first decide, what is it that you want to do? Vague doesn’t work. Know who you want to build a relationship with and WHY. If you’re not clear in your mind, you’ll never do it. It will make the difference in how you feel about the networking and focus you towards some clear objectives.

Give us your best opening line for starting a new relationship.

If I find that I can use humor with someone, I will always go that route.  If I can get them to laugh, I can get them to talk and if I can get them to talk, I can get the call. Nine out of 10 times for sure.

The RAP that Made Keith Ferrazzi a First-Time CEO

In this video, Keith Ferrazzi describes the relationship strategy that transitioned him from CMO of Starwood to CEO of an innovative startup of its day. Hope you enjoy it!

Have you ever sat down and consciously written out a relationship strategy to achieve specific goals? Did it help?

The Greenlight Highlight: Agribusiness Leader Sees Real Gains from Intimacy and Candor

MyGreenlight’s monthly community member spotlight interview.

Mark Jewell
LaCrosse, Wisconsin
Greenlight Member Since:  July, 2010
Company: Agribusiness Market Leader, Russell Associates

Elevator Pitch: I’m passionate about creating real impacts and real change through training programs. I work with companies to find out what is truly happening – and what needs to be fixed within their organizations to sustain growth.

What incident from your past do you recall being the moment it clicked for you that relationships make the difference to your success in business?
During my first real job out of college, December of 2005, I received a call out of the blue from a guy named Roger, who was seeking a consultant for a U.S. AID project in Macedonia. He was looking for a leadership trainer – and he sat on a board with a mentor of mine who recommended me.  I had never worked on something that large or important, so I was flattered.  This was the first time I realized how my network could truly work for me.  At that time, I wasn’t event thinking about working on a project like that, but it was a great fit.  It became very relevant for me in that moment, that having people in my corner to speak up on my behalf would be invaluable to my success.  I developed a great relationship with Roger – was hired back several times, and to this day when he is stateside we make time to catch up and share some time together.

Favorite Relationship Mastery Mindset and why?
A year ago it would have been generosity. That one is pretty well ingrained now, so today I would say it’s intimacy.  I’ve developed lots of relationships that I’d like to take to a deeper level.  When I travel for clients that I’ve developed a high level of trust with, I’ve started making a purposeful attempt to have dinner with them at their homes, and have often been invited to stay with them.  The stay over is like the long slow dinner times two!  One time I was even able to stay with a major super-connector from my industry.  We shared dinner, drinks, stories, family pictures – and continue to have a great relationship today.  Asking good questions that are unexpected has helped to accelerate my relationships to this level such as asking them to tell me about their families, or struggles.  I open up sometimes too, which makes me vulnerable, but it builds trust.  As a result, I have an easier time getting the connections I need, as well as greater ease in setting meetings. Continue reading

The Greenlight Highlight: Marketing and Sales Success

The Greenlight Highlight is myGreenlight’s monthly community member spotlight interview. On the last Friday of every month, the Highlight features a community member who has reaped the benefits from building mutually rewarding relationships and captures the essence of relationship mastery.

Allow us to introduce…

Lorena Bin de Galvez
Director Marketing & Sales / Partner, Dimensus/Logrelo
Greenlight Member Since: July, 2010
Interviewed via Skype from…Guatemala, Mexico
30-Second Elevator Pitch: I am passionate about helping industries and companies take their marketing and communications beyond the promotional cycle to create messages that express passion and address what their customer really want and need.

Favorite relationship mastery mindset and why?
Generosity.  Asking others how I can help them allows me to share my passion. That has been a powerful mindset shift for me.  Helping others has opened many doors to other introductions. Since starting my business a year ago, I have not had to invest in marketing. Leading with generosity has brought word of mouth referrals that keep leading to new business opportunities.  In my first year of business I made about $15,000.  Since I’ve begun focusing on my relationship approach, my business has brought in $50,000 this year and 70% of the proposals I’ve submitted from referrals have landed me new accounts.

When did it first click that relationships profoundly affect your success in business?
I used to work for large multinational corporations like Shell, Quaker Oats. I worked hard, I achieved my goals and I was always well rated. Other people in the company were getting better jobs than I was being offered and I didn’t understand why.  When I changed my work and started working as a marketing manager for a well-known Guatemalan real estate company, it clicked for me that internationally relationships are key to everything, relationships open doors. One day in 2006, I was in a Borders airport and I picked up Never Eat Alone. That was the piece that changed my entire outlook.… What I do today doesn’t feel like work. I’m helping others and giving value with what I do best.

How has putting a thoughtful process around relationship development benefited your business?
It’s made me focus on adding value to others. I was doing that before, but not with a disciplined or thoughtful approach. The Relationship Action Plan provided clarity on my purpose for nurturing the relationships in my network.  Before, I wasn’t sure that what I was doing was really helping.  The study and application of the mindsets has garnered success for my business that proves this approach works. Continue reading

Who You Are is More Valuable Than You May Think

When the subject of personal currency comes up in our discussions to help people build better relationships with each other, my colleagues and I are sometimes greeted with looks of confusion or worry. I understand. The first time I was faced the question, ‘What do I have to offer?’, I literally broke out into a cold sweat. No matter the depth of our professional prowess, some of us may encounter that question with the internal response “I don’t have anything to offer that would be deemed valuable to someone else.” Not true.  Who you are can be valuable enough.

Inspired by last month’s Social Capitalist call with Heidi Roizen, myGreenlight community members are focused on getting creative with their currency this month. In the process, they’ve been sharing their unique ways of adding value  to other’s lives and proving that it really does boil down to how you personally embody and display the core values of true relationship building: generosity, candor, intimacy and accountability.

myGreenlight Ambassador Charlene DeCesare shared how being generous with her positive energy is a valuable currency that builds up the relationships in her network.

A friend of mine, shared that she is often thanked by co-workers and colleagues for her natural ability to speak with candor and say exactly what she’s feeling and/or thinking in service of making sure that everyone in her office feels respected and cared for.

Another  myGreenlight member shared that after acknowledging a challenging relationship with her boss, she invited her to lunch with no agenda. That turned into mutual information sharing and the revelation that they were having a similar life experience that was causing each stress, which was carrying over into their working relationship. This dialogue created mutual empathy and a commitment to work towards a better working relationship.

I have a knack for listening to the dreams and goals of those in my network and storing it in my mental knowledge bank. My network never has to ask me for accountability. I hold them accountable to what they’ve shared with me, by pairing the continuous flow of information that crosses my path to ideas, inspiration, news and events that my memory bank matches with their goals.

Whatever you do naturally to extend yourself to others is more valuable than you may initially think, so be generous to yourself and accept that giving YOU may be the best currency of all.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Manager