You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn
I’ve heard Jim Rohn’s incredibly insightful quote on a number of occasions.
Every time I hear it I pause — as the message is simply that powerful. Those we surround ourselves with could easily be viewed as a critical life choice, as we absorb the moods, problems and the passions of those around us.
Instinctively, we might first apply this concept to our personal lives — quickly completing a review of our inner circle of friends and family. But really we should also applying this mantra to our work lives. The same standard holds there. Those we surround ourselves with can affect our work lives tremendously, for the better or for the worse.
I began to apply the “Fab 5” to specific work goals. (For example, finding the right guide to become a better speaker). However, this seemed far too limiting.
These 5 individuals should have robust relevance to all aspects of our work lives — a group of key people to serve as a “catalyst”, encouraging both exploration and excellence.
As such, the lineup should afford a broader application of the principle.
Here are my recommendations for the “Fab 5”:
- A mentor. An individual with whom you feel entirely comfortable. They should have a working knowledge of your “dream” career direction or path. Trust is paramount and being candid is required.
- A sponsor. This individual knows how to help you position yourself to facilitate needed career progress. They’ll help you consider options such as a “stretch assignment” or a strategically placed team role. They are masters at “career marketing” and will push your career boundaries.
- A collaborator. We all need a “co-conspirator” who allows you to free-associate and helps you explore ideas. They are likely to be quite creative and open, and not overly critical.
- A devils’ advocate. This role should be filled by someone who can “cut to the chase” and expose any weaknesses in your career logic. They help you to reveal obstacles and keep things “real.”
- An entrepreneur. Somehow you just can’t replicate the mindset of an entrepreneur. They are the whole package. Quick. Creative. Above all, gutsy. They won’t let you sit on the sidelines of your work life for very long.
Don’t limit your “Fab 5” to those you can physically spend time with — connecting online works as well. Look to channels such as LinkedIn or Twitter as potential sources to fill these roles. (Those we connect with virtually can still have the power to change our perspective and drive us forward).
Would you benefit from a “Fab 5” in your work life? Who would you include?
This post was originally published at Talent Zoo
Dr. Marla Gottschalk is a Workplace Psychologist. You can also find her on Twitter and Linkedin.
8 thoughts on “The “Fab 5” of Your Work Life”
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Marla, another great post expanding on a great quote! As I’m thinking of my 5 I’ve come to realize that one of my picks fill two roles. Also, I agree that, while less pleasant to be around, those that provide the negative examples around us help to define where we want to be.
We must also be careful of the folks we must spend a lot of time with at work who may role model behaviors we don’t necessarily want to pick up. We can learn much from the people we spend time with about what not to do as well.
Love these 5 , Marla, especially the ‘devils’ advocate’.Having a group of people who can help you in the different aspects of work life is like have your own 360 board