It was leadership expert John C Maxwell who said: “Those closest to you determine your level of success, so choosing the right companions as partners in pursuit of your vision is an important decision.” He went on to add: “My advice is to surround yourself with talented people who will challenge you, help you grow and inspire you to maximise your potential.”
When you strategically align yourself with like-minded thinkers and doers, with those who may have achieved what you dream of achieving, you’ll be pushed to take the right action and be inspired to move in the right direction towards your goals. This same group of super powers builds your success, maintains your positive mojo and keeps you in a place of constant growth. They become the invisible shield that protects us from the debilitating inner critic and the external dream-stealers, those who consciously or unconsciously attempt to keep us small.
Climbing the ladder of success is often a lonely task. We all experience days of frustration and disappointment. We all have days where we have to face our fears, make tough decisions or calls, push past failures, recalibrate our reality and keep focused on opportunities outside our comfort zones. Having the right support crew to help us overcome these difficulties, and keep us mentally tough and balanced, is not just key — it is crucial.
Who has your back? Who helps you jump at those critical moments of your personal and professional life?
They may not always share the spotlight with you, but they are absolutely riding shotgun alongside you. They go that extra mile, they have your back, they look out for you mentally, physically and spiritually and all because they care about you. They understand your dreams, goals and aspirations, and they encourage you to move forward, at the same time being very aware of where you are right now and what you have to focus on and deliver in the present.
In her book The Willpower Instinct, Kelly McGonigal discusses the theory of “Goal Contagion”, or the ability to catch someone’s goals simply by hanging out with them. McGonigal adds that Goal Contagion can work in both directions. On the positive, it is limited to those goals you already have and at some level share; on the downside, we are equally susceptible to the contagion of temptation.
Whether we like it or not, we are all greatly influenced by those closest to us. They affect our confidence, the decisions we make, our thinking, our belief in ourselves and our belief in possibility. Connect with those who dream big, who believe anything is possible, who well and truly see the cup not just half-full but rapidly overflowing.
Holly Ransom is Australia’s youngest female CEO and, at 25, the boss of Emergent Solutions. In 2012, she was the youngest person on The Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence list. In 2014, she was appointed to chair the G20 Youth Summit.
Holly says that from an early age, she learnt to seek out mentors — a support crew — to listen, to learn, to absorb new skills and thinking. Holly believes her personal advisory team will be the ones who will help build her success and legacy dream. She expects they will inspire her to do more and push her to be more.
The evidence is everywhere — from our own backyards to the sporting arena, from business to entertainment — the stories of success are inspiring, and behind every single one is an even better story of support.
Take a good hard look at yourself and your immediate circle. Are their behaviours the ones you want to follow? Are they achieving their dreams? Are they being the person you dream of becoming?
Choose your tribe carefully. Spend time with those who are taking responsibility for their lives, who own the choices they make. That way, you will become a more proactive, positive individual who has the ability to shape your future.