Whether we like it or not, we are all greatly influenced by those closest to us. Like chameleons we absorb the thinking and emotions of our surroundings, which in turn affects our confidence, the decisions we make, our own thinking, our belief in ourselves and in possibility.
Getting that support crew around you, building the who’s who of you, isn’t just about building list, attending every event you can, knowing a lot of people or even having thousands of connections on LinkedIn. It’s about knowing the right people and also intentionally losing the wrong people. Yep I said it –there may be a few people may need to move away from.
So let’s start with the 4 key must haves:
- PROMOTERS – want you to become more
Your own personal cheerleading squad is key to your success. They are with you through thick or thin, never giving up on you, always dreaming big with you. Promoters pull you toward your future dreams, make noise about potential possibilities, spend time with you to explore how you’re going to achieve your goals and inspire you to become more. They put fire in your belly and belief in your mind. According to research from the Centre For Talent Innovation, people with promoters (aka sponsors) are 23% more likely to move up in their career than those without sponsors.
- PIT CREW – want you to care more
Lets be clear - climbing the ladder of success is not all unicorns and rainbows. Sometimes it’s a lonely task, requiring grit, determination and perseverance. We all experience days of frustration and disappointment, days when we have to face our fears, make tough decisions or push past failures. Having the right crew is crucial to maintaining your mental toughness. Like a Formula One pit stop, your pit crew can make or break a race. They add stamina to run the marathon of your dreams. They keep you true and on track, prevent emotions from getting the better of you, supporting you all the way to the finish line.
- TEACHERS – want you to know more
Seek out teachers who will continue to help develop your mastery and knowledge, pushing you to know more. They may have already achieved what you want to achieve and will challenge you and your thinking, because they believe in you.
Holly Ransom, CEO of Emergent the youngest person to be named in ‘Australia’s Most Influential Women’ attributes much of her success to strategically surrounding herself with the best and brightest leaders, game changers and thought leaders including Simon Sinek, President Obama and Janine Allis. She says, “It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a whole army to raise a young woman.” Holly adds “Growing up as a “different sort of kid, I relied on my mentors for encouragement and advice.”
- BUTT-KICKERS – want you to do more
Love them or hate them, we all need butt-kickers. Butt-kickers are the masters of delivery. They listen to your dreams and accelerate your goals, pushing you to do more and holding you accountable for all your actions — and then some.
Paula Kensington, an award winning CFO, when describing her network says, “A strong network is mission critical if you are concerned about your future. Find the influencers, advisors and advocates who will help you grow and the team that will keep you balanced and grounded.”
Knowing who to cut from your network is as important as knowing who to keep. Often their negative impact won’t be immediately evident but with time and experience you will begin top realise the subtle interventions that keep you small, or behaviours that are incongruous with the person you want to become. I believe there are four types of negative people we need to sink from our network,
- BURNERS – want you to be less
As hard as it may be to accept, there are people out there who don't really want you to succeed. They may just want you to stay exactly who you are, as you are. These Burners are usually scaremongers who are frightened that you will leave them behind or achieve more. They’d rather you stick with the status quo and not become ‘too big for your boots’ (that’s them speaking right there). Sometimes there’s a strategy behind this - maybe they see you as competition, they intentional sabotage your success and steal your dreams.
- UNDERMINERS – want you to care less
Remember back to your school days and that one friend who seemed absolutely wonderful but was actually undermining you behind your back? Unfortunately, this adolescent mindset is prevalent in the grown-up world too. Underminers zap your positive energy and make you feel like you constantly have to defend yourself or justify your behaviour. They don’t support your career or personal goals because they are too focused on themselves and where they fit into the picture. Quite frankly, the only place for an Underminer is in the playground.
- JUDGERS – want you to know less
Ever feel like someone is constantly judging you and all you do? Do you feel like others are putting you in a box with a neat little name on it and thereby setting your limitations? This group of offenders also breed negativity, judging not just you but everyone else in your network, team, business, maybe even your personal life. They judge your goals and ambitions, as well as your achievements and successes. This creates barriers to your growth, knowledge, insight and intellect, serving no purpose except to feed doubt and insecurity, and to block your progress.
- FIGHTERS – want you to do less
Fighters do just that: they fight you every step of the way along your road to success. They hold you back with the intention of bringing you down with them. They can’t bear to see you achieving when they are not. ‘How dare you have your own ambitions and aspirations! How dare you demonstrate focus, integrity, drive and determination! Keep that junk out of your head and stick with me in the status quo.’
The Who’s Who of You is all about;
- Choosing to play your own game in the way you want.
- Choosing to take control of your own energy, mindset and momentum.
- Choosing to invest and share your precious time, energy and insight with those that want to do the same.
- Choosing to make your network work for you.
As Joel Osteen the American televangelist said, “You need to associate with people that inspire you, people that challenge you to rise higher, people that make you better. Don’t waste your valuable time with people that are not adding to your growth. Your destiny is too important.”