Leading can be lonely, which is why it’s critical to surround yourself with people who make you better every day. No matter what your goals and aspirations, these four types of people will help you grow and get there.
1. The Motivator: The motivator is someone who inspires you. When adversity hits, this person will often help you get back on track. Sometimes it’s his/her words that charge you; other times it’s his/her actions. The motivator understands what drives you and they know how to tap into that energy. My motivator is my Dad who never let a tough childhood be an excuse and has always put his family first. He has always motivated me by the way he behaves—his actions. Growing up with all brothers, my dad treated me just like them. He isn’t a rule follower—in a good way—which probably has a lot to do with the career I chose. My dad plays a perfect game of tug and war between support and driving me, which is why he’s my motivator.
2. The Empathizer: The empathizer is someone who will listen to you and truly “hear” you. This is a person with whom you emotionally connect and trust deeply. You can discuss challenges you are facing without fear because you know the person will put themselves in your shoes and suspend judgment. As Brene Brown notes, empathy fuels connection. If my dad is my motivator, Mom is my empathizer. Yes, I am almost 45 years old and still talk to my mother every day. We connect on every level and I can count on her perspective when I’m dealing with a tough challenge.
3. The Challenger: The challenger is the person who will push you out of your comfort zone. You may think you have your mind made up, until you have a conversation with The Challenger in your life. The best thing about this type is that they force you to think through things in a different way, which leads to better decisions. He or she can give you honest, meaningful feedback that helps you grow. My husband is great at this because he does it from a place of love and support. Whether it’s a conversation about work or about our kids, he challenges me to see beyond my comfort zone to the bigger picture.
4. The Accountability Partner: The accountability partner is someone who will help you keep your commitments. They understand your goals and what you need to do to accomplish them. I spent a few amazing days at the Human Performance Institute where I really connected with one of my colleagues who serves as my accountability partner. We each have a 90-day mission and we talk monthly about our progress, our challenges and our goals as it relates to that mission. Finding people without an agenda who can truly support you while doing the tough job of holding you accountable, will make all the difference.
Do you have these four types of people in your life? The neat thing that happened as I was writing this blog was that I realized at this point in my life, I do. I’m extremely grateful for that, because that certainly hasn’t always been the case. There were times in my life and in my career where I didn’t have all these types of people around me, and I realize looking back now, that it was a gap for me.
Game Changer Takeaway
I’d challenge you if you don’t have these four types of people in your life, to think about who could support you in these roles. Sometimes we tend to surround ourselves with similar people. Maybe everyone around you is an empathizer—which is great—until you need that swift kick to get you going. Or maybe everyone around you is a challenger—which is great—until you need an ear to truly just listen. And if you’re lucky enough to have these people in your life—value them. Our growth is fueled by the people we choose to surround ourselves with, so choose wisely.
The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams and organizations to kick-start growth. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. Her company offers training and coaching programs to help leaders unleash their potential, including: Game Changer Negotiation Training, which teaches business people a framework for successful negotiating; The Energized Leader training, which teaches people how to manage their energy to achieve focus and freedom; and a monthly coaching program, Game Changer Leadership Huddles, to help members recharge their purpose and mindset. Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter and subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast on iTunes.