At various times, I have dabbled with the game of golf. What I’ve learned in these times is that, it’s as much about your mind as it is about your ability to hit the ball with the right club and in the right direction! As someone who plays only occasionally my game is not very consistent. However, the times that I have noticed the most improvement has been when I have played with people who are better golfers than me. I have discovered the same is true in my leadership journey. Choosing to spend time with those who are further ahead in their leadership leads me to raise my game.
The truth is you become like the company you keep.
This is not a new thought. In the book of Proverbs, chapter 13 and verse 20 you can read:
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
What is important about the company you keep? Quite simply, the people you spend time with have influence on you. Their words, their behaviour, the way they treat you can have a positive or negative effect on your development.
What kind of leader do you want to be? To reach your potential as a leader you need to stretch yourself and be around encouraging but challenging people. To grow and develop as a leader is a great goal. If you want to grow in the best ways, then you need to surround yourself with people who will enable you to raise your game.
How do you do that? What are some of the tips you can employ to set the trajectory of your leadership to realise your potential?
Choose your Company Well
- Beware of negative people – Think about the people you spend time with now. Are they people who lift you or drain you? When you spend time with people you give them permission to speak into your life. I have heard it said that for every negative statement said to you there needs to be nine positive statements to balance it out. When you spend time with those who look to pull the best out of you then you come away inspired and energised.
- Leaders ahead of you – Look for leaders who are just ahead of you in their leadership journey – as John Maxwell has said, “if you are considering going into politics for the first time, you don’t need the advice of the president of the United States.” Think about the leaders you admire who are just ahead of you and ask if you could buy them a coffee. They may be willing to mentor you. Learn from them – most people are willing to share their mistakes and successes.
- Watch your input – A huge amount of content is available all around us, so be careful what you fill your mind with. Whether through your inbox, the TV, or books. Think about what it is you want to learn. Take book recommendations from trusted sources, who exhibit the kind of traits that make for good leadership. This content is another form of ‘company’ and it will have an influence on you. Make sure it is the kind of influence which will help you reach your potential. Whatever content you are reading, listening to, or watching, make notes of those things that impact you, reflect on them, and think about how you can apply them.
- Coaching – It is not possible to reach your potential without objective outside help. Get a good coach who, at whatever level of leadership you are, will enable you to go higher. A great coach will ask powerful questions that enable you to think into your results. They will listen and reflect back to you the reality of your circumstances and hold you accountable for implementing actions.
“You will never maximise your potential in any area without coaching. It is impossible. You may be good. You may be better than everyone else. But without outside input you will never be as good as you could be. We all do better when somebody is watching and evaluating…” Andy Stanley
Let me encourage you to realise your potential. The world needs good leaders. To explore how to improve your leadership, book an initial complimentary call with me here.