On Saturday past, a member of my team and I were having a conversation. During the conversation, he asked if I could help him to be as strategic as I am particularly in the area of selecting his inner circle. The question took me by surprise. It’s not that I am not strategic, it’s that I really didn’t think anyone took note of it. His emphasis on cleaning up his inner circle also took me by surprise. As we spoke and as I listened to him share how his inner circle impacts him, I realized he never really gave thought to that fact that his inner circle should include people with goals to achieve, dreams to accomplish and people who will force him to stay on top of his game.
From his account of “hanging” with his inner circle, I gathered there was a lot of partying, socializing, traveling and just being. He had a great group of party friends. I asked him to share with me how his inner circle added value to his life. He struggled to answer that question. They were people he could mostly have a good time with he said but he realized that he didn’t grow as a result of being with them but rather got the sense that he was wasting precious time.
As we continued to talk, I asked him to tell me the last time they had stimulating conversations on subjects that interested him. I asked him to tell me how he pushes them to do more than just party. Are there any of his friends who desire to open businesses or who desire to build young people like he does? I asked him if his dream of being a corporate trainer was something they encouraged or supported. I asked him how they corrected him when his actions were contrary to achieving the goals he wanted to achieve and if any of them were experts in fields that interested him. He stared at me blankly then admitted he really got no value outside of having a good time socializing with them. He also admitted that he never even considered who should form his inner circle and even though his mom told him as a child that birds of a feather flocked together he never really looked beyond the surface of those words.
I see folk all the time talk about their inner circle. I see proclamations about how their inner circle consists of less people than fingers on a single hand. To me, it doesn’t matter the numerical make up of your inner circle but rather the QUALITY of your inner circle. Your inner circle should always add value to your life and you should always be adding value to theirs. Your inner circle should help to push you in the direction of your dreams not hinder your progress. Members of your inner circle influence your decisions. Ensure your inner circle is made of people who are smarter than you, people who are progressively trying to accomplish goals or change the world, people who will push you when you become stagnant or lazy, people who are always trying to improve, to learn & to grow and people who expect the same of you.
If your goal in life is to party and have a good time, then sure friends who are focused on that will make up your inner circle. People who are just looking to have a good time and nothing else should be your target. When you have goals to achieve, dreams to chase and you have a desire to positively impact the world, find people who are driven, respected, creative, focused, influential and people who will not leave you behind and place them in your inner circle.
As I close today’s blog, I encourage you as I encouraged that member of my team – be strategic in who you chose to be in your inner circle and be sure your inner circle is working for you and not against you.