“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.” —John Wooden
We hear some version of it all the time, “you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with.” You want to surround yourself with people who have achieved the things you want to achieve, or at least have the same aspirations that you do. We pick up on their behaviors and habits. We get to opportunity to connect with others in their network. And, they help us see things from a whole new perspective. So, when you take a look around, who are you surrounding yourself with?
Smarter than you
Russell Simmons advised us, “Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.” You’ve heard the saying that if you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. You need to surround yourself with people who are smart enough to challenge you. You want to be around people who you can learn from, people who have had experiences that are fascinating and backgrounds that are full of lessons learned.
Believe in you
Brian Koslow told us, “Surround yourself with people who believe in you.” While you don’t want to be the smartest person in the room, you do want to surround yourself with those who believe in you and can see what you are truly capable of. When people believe in you, they want the best for you. You never want to surround yourself with those who are only looking out for their own best interests. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to become better and ignite a fire in you to achieve your loftiest dreams.
Sarah Gavron stated, “Surround yourself with people who support you. Find champions.” To go along with believing in you, you want to surround yourself with those who are supportive of you. You need to find cheerleaders who are on your side. You do not, however, need to surround yourself with ‘yes men’. You need people who will be honest with you; the good; the bad; and the ugly, but will be there standing by your side just the same.
Take a Look Around
Who are you surrounding yourself with? Are they smarter than you? Do they believe in you? Do they support you? Find people who will challenge you but who also have your best interests at heart and believe in you. And, at the end of the day, remember that it is a two-way street. We benefit as much from sharing our knowledge with and challenging others, believing in them and encouraging them to chase their dreams, and standing by their side supporting them just as much, if not more than, them being there for us.
© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli
Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.
Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at email@example.com.