Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

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3 Ways to Surround Yourself With the Right Business People

Last week I mentioned making sure that we are engaging with the right people, and a few people shared some their challenges.

“How do I find the right people to hang out with?”

“My friends are not as focused on work as I am.  Where do I find people who are more motivated?”

“The other people at work complain a lot.  How can I move my career forward by being around forward-thinking people?”

We know that we are the sum of the 5 or 6 people around us.  What do we do if those people are not what we want?

Specifically, how do we surround ourselves with ambitious, motivated, and community-minded people?

1.Toss out a community-focused idea and see who responds.

One idea we implemented is called Shock ‘n Clause, and it is great around the holidays. This is where a group of people get together for breakfast, and everyone brings a $100 bill. The cash goes to pay the bill, and the rest goes to the wait staff, leaving a really nice tip. The reason I love this idea is because it brings together people who love rewarding people who are working hard (let’s face it – breakfast meals tend to not come with a hefty bar tab and as such, breakfast shifts tend to have lower tips) and the people who attend love being part of the anonymous surprise that can helps others. In my small town, for our Shock ‘N Clause we went to another local town (where no one knows who we are).

2. Start a mastermind.

A mastermind is a group of people who get together on a regular basis to grow their businesses and to serve as a sounding board for other people’s businesses.

In a great mastermind there is:

1.A very high degree of trust among the group. Participants can say anything and know that the information is not being shared.

2.Acknowledgment of failures. People who try frequently will fail. I have often told my equestrian team members that if you ride enough, you will eventually fall off. As you test your limits, you have failures. Failures in business need to be acknowledged, and in a mastermind, the lessons learned from the failures are shared so everyone can learn.

3.Exchange great ideas.
In my mastermind, the insightful Mark Hunter, created a month-long workbook version of his new book, A Mind for Sales , which inspired me to look at The Five Minute Leadership Guide that came out in 2021. I thought what Mark did was really smart. As a result, we launched a (much shorter, and therefore, more do-able) 31-day book version of the 365-day guide. We sent out 1,000 of the new, shorter books, which generated rave reviews. Because of Mark’s idea, we have the 31-day version in our Managers-to-Leaders Program. We are also customizing the 31-day version for client groups and audiences. Thanks, Mark!

4. Get the kick you need (you know where) when you need it. In one of my masterminds, I received some feedback I did not want to hear. However, in a mastermind, every participant needs to be open to others’ ideas. They were right. The advice I received was the impetus I needed to make the changes I needed, to work on a deeper level with my best clients.

5. A sense of shared responsibility for the success of others. In a great mastermind, it is more than just providing advice. It is actually taking a sense of responsibility for the success of their business as well. It means promoting them and their business, and helping them succeed. It means being encouraging and honest and having their back, and pushing them forward.

3. Be a presence in the community.

This means showing up to community events, being an active part of your local chamber of commerce and other chambers of commerce, and providing resources to be helpful. I want to note that being a presence doesn’t mean just writing checks, like sponsoring little League Teams and donating to food banks, although those are important. It means seeing a need and stepping in to help. It is being a board member when asked, speaking at Veteran’s Day events, and utilizing your talents and resources to further others.

When you engage the right people, the right people will engage with you, too.





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