I once had a high school baseball coach who liked to describe people who had positive influences on our lives as “Good People.” He would introduce a guest speaker, or a batting coach, and describe some of his players, as “Good People”… and it was quite a complement coming from him. What he wanted to teach us was that it is tremendously important to have the right people around us. Friends that lift us up, not bring us down; business associates who bring out the best in us, not those who make us act like idiots. For impressionable high school students, this was a really important lesson.
As friends, leaders and mentors, this principle continues to apply.
There’s always that one friend that you get around and turn into a different person. For me, it’s my brother… whenever we get together, it’s like we’re teenagers again, being goofy, cracking jokes, poking fun. But he’s definitely “Good People”. Do you have that friend that whenever you’re around them, you don’t like the person you turn into? The choice is obvious. Make the choice to hang out with people that make you a better person, or make the choice to be the good influence in the relationship.
Obviously, the reason we mentor/disciple/train is to develop and inspire young people to higher levels, to better things and bigger dreams. But even in this role, we we need to find those who are good influences to those around them. Another point this brings up is that we need to put our main effort to those who are striving to learn, contribute, and build. It’s the 80/20 principle [again]… we need to put 80% of our time into mentoring the top 20%. Those who are not just the most skilled, but those who are dedicated to continually learning, showing initiative, and operating at their best. So we choose that 20% to disciple… and we teach and instill this principle of “good people.”
Not only must we be “Good People”, we must surround ourselves with “Good People.” People who are contributing, people who are building, people who are learning. Our inner circle, our core team, must be filled with people that we trust and have similar goals. Our inner circle must be people that bring value to us and to our team, whether that’s a non-profit or for-profit, a temporary project team, or long-term partnership. Your team is important…General Colin Powell once said, that when picking people for your team,
-capacity to anticipate
…everything else can be trained.
What a great list of attributes… Does your team have these qualities? If they don’t already possess them, are you cultivating these qualities? I’m not saying I’ve got all of these covered, but It’s what I am trying to build and work on in my own life, and on “our team” at G42.
Photo credit: Svilen Milev