You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn
I’ve heard Jim Rohn’s incredibly insightful quote on a number of occasions. Every time it’s mentioned – I seem to pause for a moment, as the message that lives there is simply so powerful. Those we surround ourselves with is a critical life choice; as we can begin to mirror the moods, problems and passions of those around us.
Instinctively, I think we first apply this concept to our personal lives – quickly completing a review of our inner circle of friends and family. But really we should be applying this to our work lives as well. The same standard holds there. Those we surround ourselves with can affect our work lives tremendously and we shouldn’t miss the opportunity to harness that potential.
I began to consider applying the “Fab 5″ as it relates to very specific work life goals. (For example, finding the right guide to become a better speaker). However, this seemed far too limiting. These 5 individuals should have robust relevance to all aspects of our work lives — a group of key people to serve as a “catalyst”, encouraging both exploration and excellence. As such, the lineup should afford a broader application of the principle.
Here are my recommendations for the “Fab 5″:
- A mentor. An individual with whom you feel entirely comfortable. They should have a working knowledge of your “dream” career direction or path. Trust is paramount and being candid is required.
- A sponsor. This individual knows how to help you position yourself to facilitate needed career progress. They’ll help you consider options such as a “stretch assignment” or a strategically placed team role. They are masters at “career marketing” and will push your career boundaries.
- A collaborator. We all need a “co-conspirator” who allows you to free-associate and helps you explore ideas. They are likely to be quite creative and open, and not overly critical.
- A devils’ advocate. This role should be filled by someone who can “cut to the chase” and expose any weaknesses in your career logic. They help you to reveal obstacles and keep things “real.”
- An entrepreneur. Somehow you just can’t replicate the mindset of an entrepreneur. They are the whole package. Quick. Creative. Above all, gutsy. They won’t let you sit on the sidelines of your work life for very long.
Don’t limit your “Fab 5″ to those you can physically spend time with – connecting online works as well. Look to channels such as LinkedIn or Twitter as potential sources to fill these roles. (Those we connect with virtually can still have the power to change our perspective and drive us forward. As long as you can share ideas easily, things can work).
Would you benefit from a “Fab 5″ in your work life? Who would you include?
This post was originally published at Talent Zoo