Kevin P. Ryan sold DoubleClick, a provider of digital marketing technology and services, for a cool $1.1 billion. You read that right… $1.1 billion! He is currently building a variety of new Internet start-ups including Gilt Groupe, 10Gen, Music Nation, ShopWiki and the Business Insider.
Kevin P. Ryan is, without question, a highly successful, world class achiever! He is a man worth listening to and learning from.
In the March 2010 issue of Inc. Magazine, Kevin writes:
- “I carry a little notebook with the names of 35 or 40 people in the company, and every week I look at it to make sure I’m in touch with everyone. The top eight or 10 people I’m going to see automatically. But there are always 20 or 30 people who are up-and-comers or one or two levels down, and I want them to know I’m paying attention. So I’ll run down the list and notice I haven’t talked to Mary in a long time and send her an email, even if it’s just to say, Great work.
- Once a quarter, I go through my list of contacts – a couple of thousand of them – to see if there’s anyone I should be reaching out to.”
Kevin used to believe that business was 50 percent having the right people. He now believes it’s 80 percent. Kevin believes the best way to be productive is to have a great team. He “overinvests in recruiting.” He focuses on finding, recruiting and retaining the very best talent available. The 80/20 rule mandates that he focus his time and energy on that which is most responsible for making his companies successful… excellent people!
One of the distinguishing characteristics of this highly successful, world class achiever is that he doesn’t just talk about maintaining contact and the importance of excellent people and highly productive teams. He lives it. He interviews a potential employee literally every day for about an hour. Kevin P. Ryan is truly people focused, team focused, and all about finding, recruiting and retaining the very best talent available.
So, if it works for this highly successful, world class achiever… what about you? Do you have a simple tool or technique that assures that you stay in contact with 35 or 40 people, other than your direct reports, who are up-and-comers or one or two levels down? People you want to be sure have awareness that you are paying attention to what they are doing and accomplishing? If you do not have such a tool, you have just been given one.
How often do you go through your list of contacts… to see if there are people you should be reaching out to? Annually or even twice a year is too infrequent… too much change… you will have missed hundreds, if not thousands of potential opportunities that may never come your way again. Monthly is probably too frequent for maximum effectiveness. Quarterly seems most appropriate.
Valuable lessons from a man who has done it… a highly successful, world class achiever! “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” And now it’s up to you.