Saturday, October 11, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 285

Remember the company you keep is the community you make.

Who we are is in part based on who we are connected to.  Therefore, as we contemplate building our professional and personal communities, we have to understand that the company we keep is akin to the community we make.

If we surround ourselves with others who want to learn and lead, then we're apt to build a community that is filled with learners and leaders.  If instead we surround ourselves with those who are not interested in learning, or even worse, with those who believe they have nothing else to learn, then we are guaranteed to create a community that is closed, rather than open.

While the direction our leadership takes is partly determined by us, it is also influenced by those around us.  Those we call friends, acquaintances, and mentors are also nodes in our community.  Depending on the community we want to build, we need to make sure that the company we keep meshes with it.

How do we make sure our company and community are aligned?  Here are two practices to consider:

1.  Be true to yourself.  Trust your gut around others and know what is in your best interests.  The best leaders can only lead for others once they've taken care of themselves.  By surrounding ourselves with those who can make us better, we, in turn, can do our best to make others better than they were.

2.  Don't be afraid to move on.  Some relationships are always good, others are always bad.  Still more are good at one point, and then become less beneficial later on.  In those cases, we need to know when it is time to move on.  There is nothing wrong with ending a relationship.  In fact, it is far worse to keep a toxic relationship going.

By cultivating our company to lay the foundation for the community we hope to build, we can make sure our vision and goals are aligned with that of others.

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