Monday, September 28, 2009

Your inner circle

Your inner circle
the few people closest to you in your life, can have a great influence over your development as a leader and even your overall success. I believe the potential of the person is impacted by his or her supporting cast, and this is why the inner circle is such a key element in the development of a leader. Inner circles are 360 degrees, meaning each person has a responsibility to whoever is in their inner circle.

You Attract What You Are

You choose who the members of your inner circle are. The saying goes "you attract what you are." If you want to see and evaluate who you are or what you stand for, look at the people around you and the decisions you make. Do the people around you have the same morals and values as you do? Do the members of your inner circle make you better, and, in return, you make them better? These are the types of difficult questions you must ask yourself if you want to maximize your potential by having a strong supporting cast.

If you want to change yourself, you may want to start by looking at the people in your inner circle. Change is good. Change means you're growing. Most people are afraid of change because it's uncertain and makes people uncomfortable. It's difficult to change your inner circle, but if you find it necessary to change your inner circle to grow and develop as a person and leader, it's a sacrifice you will have to be willing to make.

Components of the Ideal Inner Circle

I recently got to thinking about what the ideal inner circle would be like. The following are the components of the ideal inner circle:
1. Supportive

The ideal inner circle should be supportive. It doesn't matter who your inner circle is made up of, what's important is that the people in your circle support you and your goals. Your inner circle should encourage you and push you to reach new heights. In addition, your circle should be willing to help you when you're in need. The idea of an inner circle being made up of selfless individuals is an intriguing one. Imagine a circle made up of each member thinking of the others' interests and willing to do anything because that's how strong the relationship is. At the same time, your inner circle should be objective, meaning they should provide honest feedback, even if it's not what you want to hear. Having people in your inner circle that can give you another perspective and tell you the truth is a valuable asset to have. If your current inner circle doesn't support you, encourage you, help you, and provide honest feedback, maybe you should reconsider your circle.

2. Positive
The ideal inner circle should have a positive culture. As John C. Maxwell says, "Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about themselves, and small people talk about others." The ideal inner circle would consist of individuals whose focus is on the other members or ideas. If each member focuses on the other members, every member is taken care of. A forward-thinking inner circle can push each member higher. A good team always has some friendly competition. Competition makes everyone better. If members push each other to be better, everyone wins. The combination of working together and pushing each other to improve can make each member better. In order for an inner circle to be positive, each member must have a good attitude and have a good influence on the rest of the circle.

3. Complementary
The ideal inner circle should have members that complement each other. An inner circle is like your own personal team, your life team if you will. Just as in any team sport, wouldn't you want the best possible team that will get you to victory? If the members of your inner circle were your teammates, would you be happy with them? A winning team is comprised of players with a wide range of skills that complement one another. A winning team has good chemistry, works well together, has a winning attitude, and brings out the best in each other. Perhaps most importantly, the members of a winning team sacrifice for one another. They have each other's and the team's best interest in mind. Would your inner circle be a winning team?
Invest in your Potential
Your personal development and development as a leader is influence by your inner circle. You can get a good measurement of your potential by assessing those that are closest to you. If you inner circle is limiting you because of a lack of support, faith, assistance, or values, making changes to your inner circle may be appropriate. Remember, if you want to attract good people to you, you must show those qualities in yourself first. Don't let your potential go to waste, keep good people around you and it will pay dividends.