6: Make sure you surround yourself with smarter people.
This pillar, #6 extends outside of work as well as inside. Make sure you are constantly surrounded by high-quality people. So how do you go about this at work? First off, say you’ve got like 10 people in your department. Find the 3 smartest people and see if you can be put on projects with them, or accompany them. Go eat lunch with them. See what things they’re reading and working on – are they things that would benefit you as well?
Now I’m not saying you need to BE them, just be around them. It’s a weird, but the universal truth that when you hang out with high performers, you perform better. When you hang out with the slackers, you start to let your productivity drop and work ‘dumber’ instead of ‘smarter’. For more information on slacker and Debbie Downers, see pillar 5, because 99.98% of the time they’re the ‘actively disengaged’ employees that are NOT the people you want to emulate in your career.
Maybe you work solo or have work with what I would off the cuff dub ‘the actively disengaged’ employee. Even President Camacho from Idiocracy understood this concept, so if he gets it – we should too! Make sure you are AROUND people you want to be around all the time, and act the way you want to be, or grow into career-wise.
Hey – I think you’re awesome and you should think you’re awesome too! But in reality, I had the fortunate event of marrying my wife Emily incredibly young. We were poor as church mice when we first started out and my wife picked up some sales training videos from a phenomenal trainer named Zig Ziglar. Zig had this amazing quote “We tend to become the people we hang around the most“. So here is my point about this pillar – be intentional with your relationships!
I never-ever-ever purposefully spend time with people who are toxically trying to bring me down.
If I did I would most likely be level 1 helpdesk-ticket-taker-mcgee.
I actively survey my colleagues to see who are the best – and hang out with them. I do this at clients and friends as well, and so should you!