Anyone who has accomplished anything of significance didn’t do it alone. Neither should you. Think about the five people you spend the most time with and answer this blindingly simple yet imperative question: Do they make you better?
If they don’t, the question then becomes: Who does makes you better?
Who’s In Your Top Five?
Below is how you identify your Top Five — or as I have often called them, your ‘Allies of Glory’. These are the people with a unique set of skills and expertise who encourage you, inspire you, empower you, challenge you and push you to be the absolute best version of yourself.
A good way to look at this is like the starting five of a basketball team. Each player has a unique role to play. Here are the key positions for you to identify:
Point Guard – The Facilitator. The point guard is the floor general. They see the big picture and support you in managing the flow of information. They’re good at knowing when you can speed things up or slow things down. In short, they can see things that you can’t.
Shooting Guard – The Playmaker. The playmaker is the Molotov Cocktail. They light the scoreboard up. They are in the midst of making great things happen in their life and when you need a jolt of creativity, business brainstorming or a push, they are your person. They move fast and don’t have much patience for indecision. They remind you that if you miss a shot, just keep shooting.
Small Forward – The Encourager. The role player is one of the most underestimated players on a team. They do the work that many don’t see and they don’t regularly show up in the post-game statistics. But when they’re around, you always seem to be at your best. During tough spells they support you with perspective and their never wavering commitment.
Power Forward – The Bruiser. As much as you love your power forward, you may equally hate them. Their genius is holding you accountable to what you said you were going to do. If you tell them you’re writing a book, they’ll ask questions like, “When will it be finished?” They are metric-based and measure success by the progress you do or don’t make.
Center – The Rock. This is the veteran. When all hell is breaking loose, they help you remember what’s most important. They make sure you don’t mistake the forest for the trees. They know that goals are great but sometimes we just lose sight of why we are doing whatever we are doing in the first place. You need them to keep you grounded and supported.
Spending time with top performers isn’t always easy. Why? Because they’re going to push your buttons. They’re not going to accept excuses. They’re going to make you do what you say. They’re going to get you outside of your comfort zone. The good news is that this positive friction is where growth, development and breakthroughs happen.
Your starting five aren’t always going to be your best friends. You may not even talk daily. But when it’s time to play ball, they will bring out the best in you every time. And sure, there will be talented players on the bench, who come in from time to time. But your starting five play a key role in determining your success or lack thereof.
Don’t be afraid to work with the best. Surround yourself with greatness.