Jeffrey Pfeffer: To Be a More Effective Relationship Broker, You Need New Friends

Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stanford University Professor and author of Power: Why Some People Have It and Others Don’t, is also the author of a popular business school case study based on myGreenlight founder Keith Ferrazzi. During his Social Capitalist interview, Professor Pfeffer explained the importance of becoming central in your network and taking on what he calls a brokerage role.

Brokers, even the literal term, bring people together. I mean, if you think about it, what is a venture capitalist? A venture capitalist links people with technology with people with money. And the people with money probably know other people with money. They don’t know people with technology and vice versa. So the broker fills this kind of structural hole and brings the two groups together.

That’s one of the things that effective networkers do. They find people who could benefit from being in contact with each other and put them in contact. And thereby, their sales profit from bringing those groups together. By the way, in order to do that, you have to do something that I think Keith really exemplifies and great networkers do, which is that you have to meet a diverse and broad set of people from a variety of industries and from a variety of walks of life. Continue reading