Why Your Success is Fueled by Your Peers

surround people

The Discipline of Success

 

If you want to be successful, it seems to make sense to get around successful people. The people we are around have an immeasurable impact on us. It’s one of the major themes in my book, The Book of Mistakes: 9 Secrets to Creating a Successful Future.

That’s why I was drawn to Leo Bottary’s new book, What Anyone Can Do: How Surrounding Yourself with the Right People Will Drive Change, Opportunity, and Personal Growth. He covers this important aspect of success. Success is available to everyone who pursues it with discipline. I recently spoke with Leo about his work.

 

“Self-help doesn’t mean by-yourself-help.” -Leo Bottary

 

The Importance of Peers

Since it is so central to your area of study and expertise, would you start by talking about the importance of peers. Why does it matter more than ever?

Trust in our institutions is low across the board (business, government, media and even non-governmental organizations) — because of this, it creates a vacuum.  If we can’t trust our institutions, where else do we turn?  For example, in the workplace, employees were found to trust their co-workers more than either the CEO or any of the senior leadership team members (Edelman Trust Barometer).  When we lack trust in our institutions, and the people who lead them, we look to one another for reliable counsel.  It’s why in today’s environment, our peers matter more than ever.   It also points to why it’s so essential for leaders to communicate horizontally as well as vertically.  The biggest influencers in today’s organizations are not always identified by job title.  In an era where creating “alignment” is the challenge of the day in so many of today’s companies, getting ALL your key influencers involved early and often is essential to making real alignment possible.

 

“Who you surround yourself with matters.” -Leo Bottary

 

What is the Aspen Effect and what does it teach us about leadership? 

The Aspen Effect speaks to a phenomenon in nature.  We see individual Aspen trees, yet it’s not evident they share a common root system and that thousands of Aspen trees can be one organism.  We are all connected.  If we thought of ourselves more often in terms of being part of a larger whole, we would be more successful more often.

 

“We need our peers more than ever.  The less we trust institutions, the more we must rely on one another.” -Leo Bottary

 

Factors of High Performing-Peer Groups

You Picked Your Word. Now Pick Your Picture.

your picture

Your Year’s Picture

 

“A picture is a poem without words.” -Horace

 

If you’re like many in my social media feeds, you’ve picked your word for the year or even three words. A well-chosen word acts like a guide.

Why not take it further and try a picture?

We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. It crystalizes everything. A picture can represent an accomplishment and embody a feeling. It can transport you to another time. When I look at a picture, my mind adds sound and makes it come alive.

If a word exercise is powerful, try an image. Make your chosen words its caption.

 

“I believe that visualization is one of the most powerful means of achieving personal goals.” -Harvey Mackay

 

Visualize Your Future

I know someone who swears that goals are more achievable if they are visualized.

Put up a picture on your refrigerator of your dream home. Years ago, when I was a child, I had a vision of my future home and sketched it out on paper. Once, when my parents came to visit us, my mom stepped back and couldn’t believe it. “I’ve seen this house!” she said, “You drew this as a kid!”

3 Ways to Achieve Your Goals

Happy New Year!

The other day I posted the best book covers.  The artists and designers who create book jackets deserve recognition for the outstanding job they do.  Whether we realize it or not, the cover is often responsible for drawing us in.

Kicking off this year, I am thinking about the goals I have for the year.  The book covers offer a metaphor for our goal-setting process.

Glancing at a book cover, we judge the content and the author.  When strangers look at us, like it or not, they often judge us in the same way.  They take a look, and judge on our appearance.  Unfortunately, this is common before anyone even understands our story.

 

MOST NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOCUS ON THE COVER

Is your goal this year to lose weight? Stay on that diet?  Exercise more?  Eat healthier?  Like a book cover, we often focus on how the world sees us by focusing on our physical appearance.  We don’t stop there.  We also think about our reputation.  Reputation defender services now help combat unwanted or unfair reviews online.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao Tzu

I can hear some of you saying, “Wait.  Skip, it’s the inside that matters!”  Some of you may be thinking about the verse in Samuel: “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

That’s true.

I love what Jim Rohn said about that thought.  He said, “Work on the outside for people.  Work on the inside for God.”

 

NEW YEAR GOALS

If your life was a book, you would want the cover to be an award winner, and you would want the narrative to be superbly written.  Design your goals the same way.

Keep your external goals.  Losing weight may be just what you need.  Regular exercise may just save your life.  Eating more vegetables is always a good idea.  But make sure to add internal goals to your list.

1. Divide your goals into two lists:  the cover and the story.

A COVER goal is anything that is visible.  This list could include such things as quitting smoking, getting a better job or obtaining your ideal weight.  Anything that is seen by other people and the outside world goes in this column.

A STORY goal is what’s on the inside and goes into the second column.  Do you want to be a better friend?  How about being less critical and more positive?  What are your spiritual goals?

5 Goal Setting Lessons From My Garage

Of all the rooms in our home, the one that accumulates clutter the fastest seems to be the garage.  Maybe it’s because we pull the car in quickly.  We’re only in the space for a few seconds.  Maybe it’s because it’s not air-conditioned or heated, making it a real chore to clean in most months.  Or maybe it’s because the items that are placed there are the ones in limbo.  You know what I mean.  You can’t throw them out easily or you would.  That piece of furniture that holds some memories but doesn’t fit the décor of the home.  The box of old magazines holding some articles you marked for some reason or another.  A nice shelf lined with old shoes that may still fit but have long passed the glory days.  Of course, you knew at the time you dropped these items in this state of limbo that they would never return to inside the house.

The clutter built up so slowly that it was unnoticed.  We didn’t talk about it like we would if something inside needed to be cleaned up.

I’m guessing that most everyone has a space like this.  Last weekend, I spent a marathon cleaning session in the garage.  The shoes ended up donated to Soles4Souls.  The clothes went to Goodwill.  Other items were sent for recycling or to the trash.

I worked non-stop with my characteristic obsession.  When I have a goal in mind, I can’t seem to stop.  I don’t want to stop.  I even worked through most of the night in order to get it all done.