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Daily Leadership Thought #146 – Your Inner Circle

June 4, 2011

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Pay close attention to your inner circle and cultivate it wisely.

I have heard it said that a person’s IQ is the aggregate average IQ of the ten people with whom they spend the most time.  This makes complete sense to me, and I believe this applies to the idea of emotional intelligence as well.

So, who are you spending most of your time with?  Do they challenge you to think differently? Do they push you to grow?  Do they see the world as full of possibility or littered with obstacles?  Do they inspire you to excel or hinder your development?

Most of us waste valuable time and energy on the wrong people.  We expend significant effort and energy on others who do little to enhance our lives, or who have a negative impact on us – which is quite sad.  Of course, one could argue that family can be the exception to this rule, since besides a spouse we don’t choose them.  However, I would push you to reconsider the importance and necessity of family obligations when the costs tend to regularly exceed the benefits.  If you have family members who tend to have a negative impact on you, you can choose to limit the time you spend with them as well.

Think of what life would be like if you spent most of your time with family members, friends, and colleagues who are a positive influence.  How much more fun would your life be?  How much easier and full of opportunity would it be?  What do you think you could accomplish under such circumstances?

Take stock of the people you are spending the most time with personally and professionally. Make a conscious choice to maximize the time spent with the brightest, happiest, most capable, and successful individuals you know.  Avoid negative influences like the plague.  Misery may love company, but joyfulness and success does as well.  You get to decide who you allow in your inner circle.  Never forget this fact.

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