Developmental relationships

Dole out more risk

Remember the $700 million contract
Pérez trusted his people to handle? To
be clear, you’re not going to handle a
deal like that in the first year you work
with him. Or the first five years.
Although he says you need to give people a road map and let them make decisions, you have to be careful to give
them the keys to the scooter before the
keys to the Harley.

“The question is, how much do you let
them do, and how do you teach that and
not allow them to let you go broke in the
process,” he says.

Pérez says the difference to what he
does is in giving people responsibility to
make decisions right away but controlling the reins on the scope and loosening
them accordingly.

“Within parameters, you have to let
people make decisions, even the young
ones, and if they grow in the company
and become more trustworthy, then you
will allow for those decisions to be
broader in scope and involve more dollars,” he says. “The only way a company
grows is with smart decision-makers.
Those that are always waiting for orders
do not allow you to expand.

“The other thing that you need to do is
to make sure the parameters that you
create and the decision levels that you
let them do are at the level that person
is, so you don’t want that person to be
making a $100 million decision and he’s
been with you two years as an assistant
project manager.”

So while many companies will sit back
and evaluate someone for a long time
before letting them make a decision,
Pérez gives an example of how he opens
up an employee right away and then,
when they make the right decision, gives
them more to handle.

“The young accountant that is going to
do this, maybe he (starts off with) a signature up to $5,000,” Pérez says. “And, as
you get more mature, you have a signature without going to somebody of

The idea of the scale is that $5,000 won’t
cripple The Related Group, and once the
accountant shows that he or she can
make the right decisions, you give them
more risk but still not enough to hurt too
badly. In that example, the numbers
after $100,000 might change to keep
from jumping straight to $200,000, but
the point is you have to tell people right
away that you’ve given them the road
map and now they have to step up to the

“What you try to do is bring them up
with further responsibilities, but at some
point, and I’ve had this with a lot of my
young ones, you say, ‘I don’t know if
you’re ready, I think you’re ready, but let
me tell you this, if you’re not and you
don’t succeed, I don’t think you’ll ever be
ready,’” he says.

“So you throw them in the middle of
the pool. Hopefully, you’ve given them
enough tools that they can swim to
shore. And the first time it’s going to be
more difficult, but if you give them
crutches all the time, they’re never going
to get there.”

HOW TO REACH: The Related Group, (305) 460-9900 or

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