Surround Yourself with Greatness

It has often been said that you are the average of your five closest friends. This should be no surprise. Spending a lot of time with people will often have you thinking, acting, and speaking like them. The same is true for who you spend time with at work. We all know certain people who push forward to reach great heights and become successful. We also know individuals who habitually fail to live up to expectations and have excuses for everything. Both types of employees can have considerable influence on your career, with it being no surprise that your success will often be directly correlated to theirs.

If you spend time with people who are making good choices and striving to deliver excellence in the workplace, they will inevitably bring you with them. Alternatively, if you surround yourself with those who habitually make ill-advised decisions and fail to reach their potential, your work will also suffer. This concept is not new or revolutionary, but it is valid.

When thinking about it holistically, would you really invest with a financial adviser who has no money? Take fitness advise from a personal trainer who is severely out of shape? Or follow the morality of an ethics professor who just got caught laundering money?

No, you wouldn’t.

Then why would listen to the employee who isn’t successful, yet has buckets of wisdom to share? Why hitch your wagon to the role model who can’t stay out of trouble, yet has endless advice? Or why follow the individual who has been in the same job for numerous years, yet knows exactly what to do to get ahead?

If you want to achieve greatness, connect with those who are delivering value to the organization and pursuing excellence in everything they do. You will instinctively be more passionate about your career and more committed to achieving results.

Another benefit that comes with surrounding yourself with greatness is the increased amount of personal accountability you will develop. Almost without fail, those who achieve excellence maintain an extraordinary amount of personal accountability, whereas those who continue to underperform always have an excuse. This isn’t new, but the gap between the two groups has grown considerably in recent years.

Instead of working to achieve greatness, many people surround themselves with enablers who passively accept excuses and validate mediocre performance. Rather than acknowledging less than exceptional productivity or pointing out an average routine, individuals surround themselves with people who indulge their innocuous behavior as stellar because it makes them feel good for the interim. It is comfortable. This ultimately lowers the bar and minimizes what is expected of you.

Having colleagues (and friends) who are supportive is important, but if you want to achieve success, it is necessary to have those closest to you be able to tell you that you need to step up your game. Trivial celebrations about activities that lack importance are placeholders for constructive criticism. They demean authentic success.

People who habitually cater to subpar performance do you no good. They enable you to sit comfortably where you are without actually growing, improving, or succeeding. This ultimately makes you expendable. Instead of buying into this farce, surround yourself with people who are authentic, will tell you the truth, and are constantly looking for ways to develop and improve. They will push you to new heights by challenging you to reach for greatness.

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