Pivotal contacts are those individuals who can help accelerate your ability to achieve your goals. Not only can pivotal contacts help you achieve your goals, but they can truly accelerate your achievement of them.

But, how can you recognize someone who is a pivotal contact? Below are five traits you can look for:


To pivotal contacts, time is a valuable asset and they don’t like to waste it. You’re not likely to see these people hanging out by the water cooler, chatting it up.


Pivotal contacts are passionate about execution. Seldom will they get excited about a 100-page analysis of a challenge. They are much less interested in everything you know and much more intrigued by what they need to know to get things done.


Pivotal Contacts are protected by very capable gatekeepers.The old days of the cliché secretary are long gone. Today’s executive administrators and administrative assistants are polished, well-educated, professional, well-paid, and very good at what they do. They take pride in being professional administrators and are focused on optimizing their executives’ valuable resources.

Mutual Trust, Respect, and Value

Pivotal contacts build relationships based on mutual trust, respect, and value. Often, the only source of access is through a referral by a trusted source. These include lieutenants inside the organization or highly-valued external advisers, but certainly those who have filtered out the time or resource wasters.


It has been my experience that pivotal contacts are well-known, yet private individuals. You may hear of their accomplishments, but seldom about their personal lives – including their family matters, political views, or downtime interests.

Pivotal contacts are often one to two business stature levels above your current perceived reach. If you are a manager, for example, a pivotal contact could be a vice president. If you are a director, they could be division presidents. If you are a senior executive, pivotal contacts could include the CEO, board of directors, or SVP of the parent company. Pivotal contacts can also be peers in other departments or of higher stature in other organizations such as private equity firms.

Since pivotal contacts are such a key to success, what are some of the traits you have seen when it comes to identifying these valuable resources?

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