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Lead With Authority: A Q&A With Keynote Speaker Keith Ferrazzi


Mon Jun 01 2020

Lead With Authority: A Q&A With Keynote Speaker Keith Ferrazzi

Keith Ferrazzi is the chairman and founder of Ferrazzi Greenlight and author of Leading Without Authority, Who’s Got Your Back, and Never Eat Alone. Prior to his keynote session, Ferrazzi spoke with Connection Point about his background and experience and what he’ll share with ATD Virtual Conference attendees.

What is co-elevation, and why is it so important?


Co-elevation is how you lead without authority. You build co-elevating relationships with your teammates by collaborating under a mutually supportive guiding ethos of going higher together. That’s what distinguishes co-elevation from other workplace relationships. The commitment to co-elevate creates the psychological safety required for tough debates, candid feedback, and shared accountability. It takes empathy, generosity, and courage to co-elevate, but the benefits are amazing. Trusting co-elevating relationships often create results that far exceed what’s normally accomplished through more typical collaborative teamwork.

Attitude is a critical component in everyday life and in handling challenging situations. How can people change their attitudes during this pandemic to not only get through it but thrive during it?

If you want to emerge from this time period stronger than when it started, be the person who takes on some of the problems the pandemic has caused your organization. Always go first. Always ask, “What’s my part? What can I do?” Reach out and get to know some of the people who can help you get the job done. When you adopt the mindset of leading without authority, it is amazing how quickly obstacles are transformed into opportunities for building new, strong co-elevating relationships.

What is one way individuals can lead without authority?

You have a choice. You can try solving some problem in your workplace that never gets solved because it keeps falling between the cracks. That’s a clear opportunity to lead without authority because it’s a problem that no one’s dealing with. The other approach is to look at your hot-button priority project. Consider how you could improve the speed and quality of the collaboration by taking charge of your key relationships and co-elevating with the people most important to the project’s success.


What would you like Virtual Conference attendees to take away from your keynote session?

My hope is that each person comes away with a vivid personal sense of what might be possible when they start leading without authority. Whatever your title, you can be a better, more effective, more influential, and more engaged leader when you start co-elevating. Co-elevation truly is a super power we all have within us. But only you can take the first step.

ATD’s Virtual Conference was designed to provide a safe space for TD pros to come together to learn. What one thing have you learned that has made the greatest impact in your life?

You succeed in life by finding ways to make other people successful. That’s how you earn the trust to lead without authority. That’s how you build authentic co-elevating relationships. Always give more than you get, and never, ever keep score.

Share your ATD Virtual Conference experience on social media. #ATDVirtualConference


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