Imagine you have an incredible opportunity to sell your company or take a promotion. Who would you call for advice?
I hope two or three names immediately popped into your head. Now ask yourself, would those people immediately take or return your call? Would they be willing to provide you candid feedback, acting with your best interests at heart? Have you stayed in touch with them recently so they know all the context about your business and your life?
The number of those questions you answered with a wholehearted yes reveals how strong your inner circle is. It is not unusual for a CEO or executive to be so absorbed in his company, his team, building products, and servicing customers that he lets his inner circle fall down the list of priorities. If yours needs attention, schedule time into your calendar today to reinvigorate your relationships so when that opportunity presents itself and you need advice, your call will be quickly returned.
Andrea Leigh, General Manager at Amazon, says, “I always seek out truth-tellers for my inner circle. At Amazon, I selected two leaders who were in the painful-but-so-helpful category of leaders. The feedback was brutal at times, but one member of my inner circle was so sharp and insightful that I knew I would get the truth and helpful guidance.”
When I work with CEOs and Board members I ask them whether their inner-circle is full of their aspirational peers. Not people who helped you ten years ago, not people you overtook in the success trajectory, but people you feel lucky to get their brainpower on your business and your life.
Successful marathon runners use a pacemaker to guide them to match their pace to their target so they can beat their personal best time. Thoughtfully Ruthless leaders know they need pacemakers in their connections so they don’t slow down at the most opportune times. Who are your pacemakers? How strong are those connections? What will you do today to ensure you’ll have the candid and insightful support you need when you need it most?
Dedicated to growing your business,