I have recently been reflecting on my inner circle, that is something I have been doing for the last five years — and I’m sure you heard about the famous quote from Jim Rohn, stating that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Intuitively, we understand this.
For instance, if you spend most of your time with people that love eating fast food — you are more likely to join them. No matter how disciplined you are about your diet, this constant temptation will gradually weaken your resolve, and soon you will be ordering with your friends.
So, the people we surround ourselves with will influence our behaviours, our habits, our thinking. Undoubtedly, people can make or break you — however I disagree with Rohn on the idea that we become an “average”.
We cannot sum people as a fixed quantity. Each and every one of us is complex, multi-dimensional and unique. Everybody will bring to the table something different.
Obviously, our focus should be on the people who make us, who can elevate us.
We have to be strategic about this. It requires some introspection to uncover our strengths and weaknesses and then — with this understanding — find out who to team up with. Like the recipe for a soufflé, the cake will rise if we have the right ingredients and steps. Otherwise, it will fall flat.
To counter this and ensure we grow surrounded by incredible peers, I built a model that I have been applying with my coaching clients and myself.
Your success depends on your inner circle.
For instance, in a corporate world more demanding than ever, having a Wellbeing Officer can help us better regulate our stress and lower the risk of burnout, by helping us prioritise self-care.
Suppose you have a critical decision to make for your business or in your personal life. In that case, you will benefit from having a Challenger by your side to scrutinise your thinking, highlight your blind spots and review your assumptions to help you make the best choice.
And what about your new year’s resolutions? Have you stuck to it so far? If not, you probably need a “Butt Kicker” — namely, someone that will keep you accountable. You know this person who will text you at 5:30 am to remind you to put on your running shoes and go for this gym session you committed to (but don’t really want to do).
These are 3 different kinds of people to have in your network and the list goes up to 9. With them, we can elevate our state of being, execute our projects, and expand our world — be it our reflection, our learning or even our opportunities.
Which ultimately empowers us to perform at our best.
Researchers studied over a decade more than 1,200 CEOs who led S&P 1500 firms and their performance. They paid attention to their network and its diversity (demographic and cognitive). Their findings show that the greater the CEO’s network diversity, the greater the firm value. They even estimated that, on average, a CEO better connected than 75% of other leaders would increase the value of their company by 81 million dollars over their tenure.
However, I know networking is not something everyone is comfortable with. Many have to overcome their introversion or, and this is more difficult, their fear of rejection.
If you can relate, then I invite you to reflect on the following questions:
- When you engage with someone, what is the worst that could realistically happen?
- If you choose to do nothing and don’t foster your network, what are the costs associated with this in terms of wellness and growth?
- What would happen if you had successfully developed an inner circle to support you? What would you be able to achieve? How would you feel then?
And remember, networking is about connection. Connection with others only requires being yourself. Being yourself is being human.
Thank you for reading this newsletter. Don’t hesitate to answer and share your thoughts with me.
To your success,
- Fang Y., and others., 2018, “Differences make a difference: Diversity in social learning and value creation”, Journal of Corporate Finance
- Fang Y., and others., 2018, “Research: CEOs with Diverse Networks Create Higher Firm Value”, Harvard Business Review
- If you are about to make an important decision for yourself (or your team) — let me be part of your inner circle and work towards your success, book a call with me to discuss this.
- With my book Act Before You overThink to learn how to make better decisions faster and liberate your mind from the constant chatter that hinders your potential. You can buy it here.