When I was a kid playing basketball, I noticed my game adjusted to the caliber of the people I played with. If I surrounded myself with great players, it challenged me to raise my game. If I played with average players, my game lowered to the level of the players I was with. For some unexplained reason, I thought I was playing just as hard, but I did not play as well.

The same thing happens in business. When we surround ourselves with high-caliber people it helps us raise our business game. Many times people are not careful in choosing their associates. They think more in terms of who is more fun, loyal, trust worthy, makes them feel more comfortable, dresses in a certain way, and other factors that might be important, but all these qualities will not contribute to raising their game.

It is important to separate the traits that people must possess to be included in your circle, such as trustworthiness and ethicality, and those that are necessary to help you raise the bar. The former is the minimum requirement but should only be the starting point. After that, you need to start figuring out what types of people you need to have around you so that your business game will keep rising.

You need to surround yourself with different circles of peers, acquaintances and friends. For example, if you are in finance you normally would surround yourself with some of the brightest minds in finance. However, you also need to have circles of people that can expand your resources and knowledge into other functional areas such as human resources, marketing, strategy, operations, and so on.

We also need to surround ourselves with people who will tell us what we need to hear, not just what we want to hear. This is critically important for personal growth and development. Too often one does not recognize what is needed to get better and to take things to the next level.

If you find that you are not having constructive conflicts with your peers, acquaintances and friends it is time to find new ones. This is the only way to challenge yourself to get to the top of your game.

Howard Shore is a business growth expert that works with companies and people that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm please contact Howard Shore at (305) 722-7213 or [email protected].

Business Coach, Executive Coaching

About Howard M. Shore

Howard M. Shore is a Certified Gazelles Coach, Certified Public Accountant Certified Executive Coach, Certified Behavioral Analyst, Certified Values Analyst, and Certified Attributes Index Analyst. He has earned Bachelor and MBA degrees from Florida International University, and completed advanced executive programs at Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago.