I heard it said once that…
“If you show me your friends, I’ll show you your future.”
When I heard this, I was doubtful because it sounded too ‘hokey’ and ridiculous that the people around you would have such an influence on one’s future state. To test the concept, later that day I sat around with my friends and bought up this quote.
As expected, I was ridiculed. And being told that it was nonsense, I piped now and brushed it off.
Later that night I noticed that all my friends were being negative, bitter and at times down-right rude! But being a relatively easy-going guy, I just chalked this up to “they were just that way.”
But it was later that night something came to mind to make me wonder if my assumptions were correct. The “Show me your friends…” phrase came up in my mind again and compelled me to do my own little “friends assessment” while hanging out with them.
Lifestyle Double Check
In thinking more closely about my friends and those I chose to be around, I saw things differently than I had previously envisioned. For example, my room-mate was a weird drummer who had gotten on my bad side often by pulling stupid pranks.
I thought about it and finally admitted to myself that his guy was going nowhere fast.
His life was to epitomize the definition of “loser” and he seemed to hate everything and everyone that he knew. Likewise, a group of 3-4 other friends found solace in doing nothing and regularly had in-door wrestling matches to express their male dominance.
They had a talent in showing disrespect and rejection of the good people I respected and qualities I held close.
Contrary to my goals, these folks were not measuring up to where I wanted to be.
Time to Recalibrate
Was I to become like this group of misfits?
The very possibility scared me into change and an immediate search for people who would be of benefit to my life and more importantly; my destiny. I started off by spending as little time as possible with this group of guys, which made me one lonely man for awhile.
I did another friends assessment on my friends who were on the fringes of my social circle and identified several people who were doing something valuable with their lives, were driven and made a conscious decision to be positive and people of action rather than my previous counterparts who were slowly flushing every part of their lives down the toilet.
The Honest Truth
The truth is that I really did notice their negative effects on my life and would choose life over death, like I’d choose positivity over negativity most days of the week. I moved house and completely changed my circle of friends, which was very difficult at the time for me personally but I don’t regret it for a moment.
So, who are the 5 closest people in your life and how do they influence you? Are they friends to your destiny and how well do you think your life will end up because of them?
I now pride myself on the people I allow into my life and can boast of the brilliant leadership character they bring into my life. These people are the quality and depth of my own life and destiny.
It may not be your friends circle that is most important in this scenario, it could involve your management team, leadership team or people working alongside you at work.
If you assessed those closest to you based on their potential, character and value then would they benefit your life and leadership or pull you away from a more beneficial destiny?
Learning Leadership Up Close
A leader who I respect greatly once told me about how he accomplished his mission to bring John Stott into his life. John Stott is a well-thought-of author and began the evangelical Christian movement, which is a great accomplishment even by itself!
The leader told me of how he didn’t have a way to be introduced to this man Stott but was determined to meet with him and add his value into the destiny of his own life. He actually managed it a year before Stott’s death, but he told of how much of a friend he was to his destiny, a friend who gave and had such value in his own life that it spilled over into the lives around him.
We should all be so lucky to have people like this in our lives.
“Leadership is the ability to establish standards and manage a creative climate where people are self-motivated toward the mastery of long-term constructive goals, in a participatory environment of mutual respect, compatible with personal values.” ~ Mike Vance
Coming up to the Christmas period and New Year, I thought to myself this:
“What are the special leadership lessons at this time of year?”
I’m still not sure exactly what should be different at this stage of the year, but maybe look at those beside you in your leadership and life.
So ask yourself this:
“Are these people who are friends to your destiny?” and even “Are these people possessing qualities I would actually like or do they have poisonous leadership characteristics?” It could be the right time and opportunity to make a few great refining decisions to your circle of influences.
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Image Sources: richardtimothy.com
- Self-Leadership & Mentorship: Collectively Creating a Better Future (leadershipcoachingblog.com)
- There’s A Critical Difference Between Leadership And Motivation (spiceofyourlife.wordpress.com)
- 5 Reasons Leadership Falls Flat (linusfernandes.com)
Filed under: Authentic Leadership, Emotionally Intelligent Leadership, Future Leadership Issues, Leadership Assessments, Leadership Lessons Learned, Leading Change, Professional Development Tagged: | John Stott, leadership, Management