Whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 or a teenager looking to set the right course for your life, there are two assets you need in order to achieve success. The first is a hard working attitude. The second is a team of people who listen and genuinely want you to succeed—and to succeed with you.
There is a common phrase that says, “Look at the five people you spend the most time with, for they are who you will become.”
Spouses become more and more alike with every year they spend together. The same is true for you and your friends.
So, assembling a team of reliable advisors is absolutely crucial for anyone looking to make it far in this world.
1. Your Guides
The first step to establishing an amazing team of advisors is to look at those who have succeeded in your field. Listen to their Ted Talks, read their books, take the classes they offer, and if at all possible, become their Mentee.
Even without having your predecessors as your personal Mentor, glean as much information and wisdom from those who have come before you—and engage with others who follow their teachings as well. The insights of your fellow enthusisits will give you welcome conversation and perspectives you never would have dreamed possible on your own.
Oftentimes, these are the relationships which blossom into life-long bonds.
2. Lend an Ear
To find people who listen, you need to become an active listener yourself.
Most people listen only to respond. However, if you develop the habit of truly hearing where a person is coming from, you will not only develop a deeper connection with them, but you will have a better understanding of yourself and what you personally think and feel. When you have established a relationship of trust, your companion will 1) be more likely to open up to you and 2) accept and welcome your honest feedback. Oftentimes once this is established for someone else, active listening will be reciprocated, and you will receive some of the best insight of your life.
3. Look at your life
You need to know where you want to go. You don’t necessarily need a detailed plan for how to get there, but you need to develop the character necessary to succeed. This means that in the process of finding worthy advisors, you will need to surround yourself with people of high character—often those of higher character than you. This way, you can learn from their example and rise to the challenge.
Your current friends may try to subtly pull you away from your goals. This means, in order to develop a team of reliable people, you may need to shed some friends along the way.
Ultimately, putting together a reliable team of advisors starts with an honest appraisal of yourself. What do you want? Where are you going? What roadblocks do you have in your way? How will you grow in order to overcome them?
Then, you need to find like minded people who have either done what you are going to do, or who are on the same path you are currently walking.