Developmental relationships

Jorge M. Pérez is no fool.

A self-made billionaire, he’s pushed his company well beyond $1
billion in revenue, has helped shape the landscape in South Florida
and has been named one of Time’s top 25 most influential
Hispanics in the U.S.

But he’s happy to tell you that a recent construction contract at
The Related Group, where he is founder, chairman and CEO, went
out without him even stealing a glance at it.

“I don’t deal with the construction contracts,” he says. “Do you
know how big the construction contracts are — $700 million for
one job that we just did, $700 million. I haven’t even looked at it.”

That wasn’t a careless error on his part. Pérez believes very firmly in bringing his people along and letting them make big decisions
at Related Group, a real estate development firm with a portfolio
in excess of $10 billion. To keep his company moving, he says that
there must be a culture that allows people to feel comfortable taking risks and making moves quickly to keep ahead of the market.
As a result, he has found that by coaching his nearly 500 people, he
has built a group of employees that he can trust to make those big
deals. By doing that he has created a culture where he believes his
people have actually far exceeded him in their specific areas of

“You have huge trust that those people are doing the right
thing,” he says. “But the fact is, my senior people are 10 times
better, every one of them, in doing those contracts and protecting us than I would be.”

Here’s how Pérez brings in, trains and unleashes the kind of
people whom he can trust with $700 million deals.

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