Did you know that Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and Charles Lindbergh were all close friends?
It’s true. They all had homes in Florida and often fished, dined and socialized together. These four men, all incredibly successful, shared similar interests and philosophies. Through their individual perspectives, they challenged, sharpened and expanded one another’s thinking.
These men all knew that we become greater by association with those who are great. Connecting with others and building mutually beneficial relationships can not only help you live a fulfilled life, but leverage your efforts to realize your full potential.
My new book, The Potential Principle, offers several powerful tools for creating breakout improvement on your journey toward bettering your best. One of the most important of these is to “engage others to avail yourself of their wisdom and help.”
Sure, if you want to be all that you can be, you need to take responsibility for your own success and do the work it takes to achieve your dreams. But at the same time, you can and should look to others for ideas, mentoring, coaching, encouragement and friendship. Engaging the right people will certainly help you go farther, faster.
The knowledge you can glean from the experiences of someone you admire and respect will cut years off your learning curve. It will help you replicate their victories and, hopefully, avoid a few of their failures.
But as my friend Larry Winget says, be careful who you take advice from. Listen to people who have actually done something, not someone who just talks about doing it. To become the best, engage only with the best. Ask yourself, who are the best people in your field or area of interest? Are you familiar with the top performers? Look to them as an example to learn from and emulate. Consider asking one of these winners to advise, coach or mentor you on a regular basis. A good mentor will put you miles ahead on the road to success. Anders Ericsson, author of Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, writes, “The most optimal way to improve your performance is to find a teacher who has been teaching other people to reach the level of performance that you want to attain.” Makes sense, right?
Remember, others can help you get better, but that can’t make you actually get better. Their concern, aid and support can only benefit you if you are willing to do what is necessary to reach your goals. If you’re up to the challenge, however, engage others as you strive for improvement. It will turbocharge your efforts and enrich your life!
Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is the president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an “idea studio” that seeks to motivate and develop leaders in and outside of business. He’s the bestselling author of books like Fred Factor and The Potential Principle and a noted expert on leadership, team building, customer service and company change. He holds the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame. Check out any of his excellent books, his video series, “Team Building: How to Motivate and Manage People” or his website, marksanborn.com, to learn more.