Now, old time people would say ‘show me your company and I tell you who you are’. In more modern times, we can consider Jim Rohn who said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
So who do you spend time with? Who do you hang out with in terms of helping your money feel the way it should? Where is your free time spent? With people who bring you down or people who lift you up?
Colin Powell also noted that “The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve.”
Think about that.
According to Forbes Magazine contributor, Glenn Llopis, the truth is that your success is linked to 4 types of people.
- The Leader
The Leader is the one who holds sway in the room. When the Leader speaks, the majority listens. The others in the room offer support to the real leader through nonverbal cues such as smiling, nodding, direct eye contact, and adjusting their seating position to face the Leader. Some four thousand years ago, ancient Israel’s third monarch, the wise King Solomon, said it this way: “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise.” We speak of one being guilty by association, but the opposite is equally true: one is also successful by association.
- The Loafer
The Loafer is, one you must avoid. Hang around loafters and miss opportunities. The loafer is the one who is late, unprepared, and uninterested. Concerning the Loafer, the ancient Roman philosopher Horace offered proper advice: “That destructive siren, Sloth, is ever to be avoided.” To identify and then avoid close association with the Loafer is to avoid misfortune. The Loafer lacks the sight to see his own opportunities and therefore can only hinder the sight of yours.
- The Leech
There is another person that you need to avoid is the Leech, which is easier said than done. The Leech is easy to be around and easier to keep around. But beneath the surface, he makes no real sacrifice to achieve success and offers no extraordinary value to coworkers or the venture as a whole. We often call the Leeches in our organizations “yes-men” and “yes-women.” The Leech’s relationship offers you no new opportunities—and his proximity may actually pose a threat to those opportunities before you. At any point, the Leech might steal another’s opportunity in order to advance themself. The Leech is little more than a corporate squatter and will live off your success and the success of others as long as they are allowed.
- The Lifter
The Lifter is capable of offering value through supporting action and self-initiated action. The Lifter is not fearful of questioning the status quo or the person of authority when necessary. This is done in a tactful but clear fashion when the best solution or strategy is in danger of being lost.
The Lifter is a Leader in the making. To maintain association with the Lifter has twofold value: one, the Lifter is a steady ally in the pursuit of good fortune because the Lifter will always offer an honest opinion and at times a new insight; and two, their ability to maximize their resources makes them an expander of opportunity. While they may not be naturally creative, their commitment to excellence will open doors through dedication and persistence.
As you assess the success that you seek to achieve, step back and ask yourself: What percentage of your network is comprised of leaders, loafers, leeches and lifters? Write these numbers down on a piece of paper and the names that are associated with these percentages. Do they satisfy you? Will the results allow you to reach your goals?
Back to Colin Powell, he charges us, “ Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you. With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it.”