Always on the go in his car office, Andrés balances a homemade caffeine fix in his patria-inspired red “Perú” espresso cup. “I love going to work because I believe in the work.”
Arriving at Willis Tower
Often on the road to see clients, Andrés looks forward to a Chicago-only day where he is based. His car is a second office where he takes calls, and this morning was just such an occasion. He has completed his call and is about to trek across the street to his office at Korn Ferry’s Chicago location in the iconic Willis Tower.
Andrés’ book with coauthor Dr. Robert Rodriguez, Auténtico: The Definitive Guide to Latino Career Success, was just released in its Spanish edition. Andrés and colleague Senior Client Partner Darryl Smith catch up and review the new version prior to an internal enablement luncheon. “Colleagues like Darryl make me better every day through their loving support, challenging questions, and applied smarts.”
More than thirty Korn Ferry consultants gather for an internal lunch-and-learn, where Andrés and Darryl partner on enhancing the capabilities of their Korn Ferry client advisors. The session focuses on skills for selling and delivering diversity and inclusion solutions while elevating their own ability to live by the D&I principles. “One of my favorite aspects of my work at Korn Ferry is the quality—in expertise and character—of my colleagues.”
Shifting from an approach for how best to serve clients, Andrés now leads the group in an exercise that turns their attention inward, identifying common and not-so-common experiences and challenges they all have in each of their own forms of diversity. They cross the “diversity line” if they meet the criteria Andrés has just read aloud. When participants look around and see the often surprisingly common as well as different experiences their coworkers have had, it is a powerful communal moment.
In the Dark Matter café space of Willis Tower, Andrés has a coffee (decaf, as he’s already had two espressos today) with his Latina mentee, Maricruz Contreras, a rising Latina leader at Liberty Mutual. “Without the many mentors in my life, I would not have been able to achieve half the things I have been able to do. Having received, it’s essential—and joyful—to give back.”
Andrés holds an over-the-phone client meeting in his office, where he provides strategic advice to a corporate client on their D&I initiatives. “Clients only benefit from our expertise if we have truly listened to and attuned our strategic and pragmatic responses to their deepest needs.”
Onboarding a new colleague
At the Metropolitan Club bar on the sixty-seventh floor of Willis Tower, Andrés shares cocktails with Johné Battle, a newly hired Associate Client Partner at Korn Ferry, who is in town from Milwaukee and about to relocate to the company’s offices in Miami. The two discuss the keys to success at Korn Ferry and the joys of mission-driven client work. “New colleagues always bring zaps of innovative energy, given their differentiated experiences and backgrounds, that make us better.”