You want to be great? You’d better start surrounding yourself with great people. ASAP. Whether this is mentors, or pals, or teammates, the idea is the same—great people attract other great people. And, most importantly, they all attract greatness.
Make sure your personal network is great so you can be too. Find yourself a few types from this list and you’ll be well on your way:
1. The Kind and Loyal Friend
Don’t underestimate the selfless person who is always willing to lend a hand when you need one most. This person is going to root for your success, not just their own. And if they see you need something, or they notice your potential, they’ll go out of their way to help you. They’ll also be your constant cheerleader.
2. The Strategist/Planner
This is a great person to have around if you’re not particularly strategy-minded yourself. Find someone who knows you and knows what you want to help you figure out how to get there when you feel like you are floundering around for answers—someone who will give you seasoned advice and help you make a game plan that you’ll actually follow through with.
3. The Coach
Everybody needs somebody in their corner, particularly someone who will also call you on your crap and push you to do better than you are doing. Someone older and wiser who can help you figure out how to solve problems for yourself in the long run.
4. The Mentor
A mentor is less psychologically important than the coach, but much more instrumentally important. Pick someone with experience and success in the field you want to work in. Learn from them. The better you do, the better they will feel about their mentoring skills. Everybody wins!
5. The Challenger
Yes men are everywhere. You need people on Team You. But you also need people who remain agnostic about how well you do at any given thing and are willing to tell you the hard truths or force you to confront a problem from a different angle or look at a situation in a different way. Find yourself a devil’s advocate who will scrutinize your ideas and plans honestly, without feeling like they’re going to hurt your feelings.
6. The Energizer
Find someone who pumps you up! Whenever you are down or enervated or just plain uninspired, know who to turn to. It could be one person, or a group of people, or everyone in your life. Just find a way to recharge your inspiration batteries on the quick.
7. The Real Friend
Everyone needs someone they can go to when they don’t have it in them to act or impress or be on their guard. Find someone you can just be real with. Then find more. This can be your partner, or your pals, or your family, or, preferably, all of the above.
8. The Connector
Connectors are exceedingly rare but unbelievably helpful. They long to meet people, root for them and connect them to other people. These are people with a deep network who know someone for any possible need. Find this person and never displease them! They can easily be the key to your success.
9. The Optimist
You really need to know someone like this if you tend to lean toward cynicism or pessimism. Find someone who can help you see the silver lining, even in the direst situations. Think of this person as your moral flashlight out of the dark caves of despair!