There’s a quote by famous business philosopher Jim Rohn, who said “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” The concept behind this is that the company you keep has a major influence on who you are, whether you realize it or not. Therefore, it’s important to surround yourself with individuals who constantly challenge you to be a better, smarter, and ultimately more successful person.
You probably spend the majority of your time with family, coworkers and friends. Have you ever taken a step back and thought about the effect that these people have on you, for good and for bad? Consider the following examples:
- You may have a friend, Sarah, who is always pushing herself to the next level, whether personally or professionally, such as taking night courses to learn more about her field, learning a new language, running marathons, etc. When you interact with Sarah, you likely have conversations that leave you feeling invigorated and motivated to try new things and hold yourself to the same high standards.
- You may work closely with a colleague, Doug, who is flying under the radar and only does the bare minimum to get by at work. While Doug is fun to be around, and you have a great time going to happy hours together and joking around in the office, your interactions with Doug may prompt you to act similarly as you spend time together and watch him coast by.
There are many blogs and articles on the topic of Rohn’s law of average. Many of them suggest rating the five people you spend most of your time with and weeding out those who are not providing enough value. While this ruthless approach may work for some, it’s not for everyone, and it doesn’t have to be. However, we do stress the importance of surrounding yourself with accomplished, successful, and interesting people in order to become one of the same. Here’s how:
- Explore outside of your inner circle: Those close to you may not be providing the stimulation you need to propel forward; be open to meeting new people and exploring relationships with previous acquaintances. For example, at an industry event, instead of sticking with your normal group, branch off and take a walk around. Start conversations with people who seem interesting.
- Consider professional coaching or mentoring: According to a recent survey by the American Society for Training and Development, 75% of private sector executives said that mentoring was critical to helping them reach their current positions. A personal and/or professional coach or mentor can help you hone your skills and advance in your career by sharing their own experiences and giving guidance.
- Look inside yourself: Take a look internally and ask yourself if you are holding those you surround yourself with to the same high standards that you want them to do for you. Think of ways you can start doing so for the people around you; the likelihood is as you become more ambitious and supportive of them and their efforts and goals, they will reciprocate. If not, look outside of your inner circle and/or considering coaching/mentoring.
- Accept and appreciate criticism: Negative feedback garners positive results by helping you to identify and thus improve your weaknesses, and grow a tougher skin. The best executives actively look for criticism because they recognize its benefits. Ask the people you trust and admire, such as a coach or mentor, to give you constructive criticism on your shortcomings and get their honest suggestions for improvement.
As a sales executive, it’s imperative that you are motivated and successful; your leadership drives the organization and sales team and all eyes are on you. You also need a team full of ambitious, driven, smart people (we call them ‘A’ players) that push one another to succeed in order to reach your sales potential. One bad player can be detrimental to the mindset of the entire team and the sales environment.
SRi offers coaching and mentoring services for executives and sales managers, sales playbook and process training to improve rep performance, and profiling and hiring services to ensure you have a winning sales team full of ‘A’ players on staff. Contact us for a complimentary consultation with an expert to learn how to improve the success of yourself and your team.