No one can deny that success in any entrepreneurial venture requires the foresight and ambition of a visionary enthusiast. But selling the concept, project, or product is clearly about impressions; gaining respect and forging partnerships is entirely about relationships.
That, my friends, is the “art” of the entrepreneur.
Bill Rancic, winner of the first season of “The Apprentice,” and the focus of this month’s cover story (as Buildings magazine’s keynoter at NeoCon® World’s Trade Fair), expects his investments in such relationships - namely, long-term friendships with his elementary school buddies, as well as new-found colleagues and mentors guiding him today - “to pay off for a lifetime. As lasting legacies go, these relationships are more important than any business or property I’ll ever build,” he says. “Self-reliance is a good thing, but other-reliance is essential.”
John T. Griffin, a 25-year-plus veteran of the New York real estate scene, has followed these fundamental “rules of reciprocity” throughout his career, serving as both student of and mentor to a vast number of the industry’s icons. As project consultant for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) during the planning and construction of 300 Madison Avenue (featured on pages 58-60 of this issue), he embraced the expertise and goodwill of his colleagues, while openly sharing his considerable insight. On this particular project, throughout his career, and now as he enjoys his well-deserved retirement, John epitomizes the essence of grace and humility. Relationships - those carefully nurtured throughout the years - will never end.
For John, the best part of this journey is evident to anyone who has had the good fortune to know him. And for those who don’t? It takes just a glance at that smiling face to understand: He’s had a helluva good time.
And that, my friends, is also the “art” of the entrepreneur.