“The making of friends, who are real friends, is the best token we have of a man’s success in life.” ~ Edward Everett Hale
Connecting to the right people is the key to success. Too often we find ourselves in relationships that drain the very life out of us. People are either “lifters” or “leaners”. “Lifters” take you higher and build you up while “leaners” use you to lean on for help. It’s alright, and even charitable, to have a “leaner” or two in your life to whom you can serve as a “lifter”. Don’t have too many however or they will drain you dry and suck the life right out of you. On the other hand, you can’t have too many “lifters” in your life. They bring you joy, purpose, encouragement and fulfillment because they not only help you to be better but they complete you with complimentary gifts and abilities.
Solomon wrote this wise observation:
“A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 NASB)
Be intentional about how you are developing friendships. Keep in mind that you will most likely end up being like those you hang around. It’s how the “birds of a feather” principle takes shape. The “friend who sticks closer than a brother” is the kind of friend you want. Don’t try to just collect large numbers of friends who are so “casual” that they have no commitment to your well-being and development. A few good friends will see to it that you are living at your fullest potential and getting the best out of life. Be sure to avoid the “wrong” people, be careful settling for just “any” people, but be intentional about connecting to the “right” people. They will make all the difference in your life, and you in theirs.
As a leader, you are not truly at your best until you have the right people around you who complete you with their gifts and abilities. You cannot reach full success without enlisting the help of the “right people.” This must become a daily priority in your life and leadership. Invest in relationships today that make both you and the other person better. This is one of the best leadership investments you can make. The payoff is huge!
Remember that values and beliefs trump skills and abilities just as character trumps competence. The right people must first share your values and beliefs. It is essential that they are people of integrity. Don’t be tempted by great talent if there is any question of character. Always seek character first and then competence second in your search for the right people. Without the foundation of integrity, talent will ultimately fail.
Finally, be the type of person you want to attract. Just as you are looking for the right people to be lifters in your life, other lifters are looking for that too.