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Episode 116- Compass Founder & CEO Robert Reffkin on The Importance of Mentorship

May 13, 2021 • Business Leaders
Robert Reffkin, Compass

No one succeeds alone. That’s the message behind Compass founder and CEO Robert Reffkin’s journey and the title of his new book. Raised by his mother, abandoned by his father and disowned by his maternal grandparents, Robert has always defied the odds. He graduated from Columbia in 2.5 years, earned an MBA from Columbia Business School, and worked at McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, and as a White House Fellow before starting Compass. One of the only Black CEOs in tech, Robert’s mission is to help everyone find their place in the world and realize their full potential. On this episode, we talk about the importance of mentorship, how to build your own network, and the leadership principles that have guided his success.

Follow Robert: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Book

Show Notes

  • The “dream big” mindset his mom instilled in him at an early age (1:45)
  • What he’s learned about forgiveness (3:56)
  • How to foster a culture of inclusion (5:53)
  • Why he made the leap from the corporate world to start Compass (8:21)
  • How Compass differentiates itself from others in the industry and from other startups (12:42)
  • The feedback tool (18:06)
  • The 8 Compass Entrepreneurial Principles and how they are engrained into the company culture (21:03)
  • “Values aren’t what you say, they’re who you fire.” (23:14)
  • His approach to recruiting and attracting top talent (25:40)
  • The power of handwritten notes (27:18)
  • Surround yourself with people who support your dreams (29:37)
  • Feedback is a gift (31:09)
  • How he continues to grow and evolve as a leader (34:32)
  • What he learned by running 50 marathons in 50 states (36:10)
  • Looking ahead to what’s next (38:54)

Resources / People Mentioned

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