Yep – You read it right, if you want to improve your thinking, clarity and decision making abilities then surround yourself with people who frighten you.
Now clearly I’m not talking about those who are armed, dangerous and will cause you physical harm but rather those for whom you know you have to be on your A-Game to be able to convince and take with you.
These people will be bring with them a challenge to your thinking, concepts, values and methodology in a way that makes you step back and want to work harder to prove to them (and in turn yourself) that you are doing it right.
Such people are all around you, but you need to have your eyes open to spot them!
In my career I’ve been lucky enough to be in places where I have seen these people in action. Delivering speeches, coaching and chairing meetings to name a few. Often being put on the spot by them and afterwards thinking “that was good, I’d like to do that again”.
By approaching them and being willing to open myself up to scrutiny has helped my professional and personal development no end. I feel that I have to work harder to keep up and that hard work involves reading, studying but more importantly being open to new ideas and thoughts.
However, it’s not for everyone! Some people prefer to surround themselves with ‘yes men’ who nod in agreement and seek to maintain their place at the top of the pile. It’s a nice ego stroke, but how can you and your business possibly grow without the challenge?
So have a good look around you and see who gives you butterflies and fills you with a sense of trepidation then ask them “what can I learn from you.”
It might just change your life or if not, at least the way you approach it.