I’ve often heard successful leaders say: recognize and connect with people smarter than you. In fact, one of the most common traits in successful leaders is how they expand their circles of influence by connecting with people. Stephen Covey recognized it as One of Seven
Leaders know that connecting with others allows them to be impactful in their role. But it is more than mentorship; it goes both ways. We are meant to live in community and connecting with others allows for mutual growth. I’ve experienced this truth as I’ve juggled my responsibilities as a husband, father, son, brother, friend, neighbor and co-worker. We are all made to lead but successful leaders recognize the need to learn from others.
I don’t think there is a better way to describe it than by mentioning one of my favorite bible verses, Proverbs 27:17,
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
This truth transcends culture and generation. Plus, it applies to both our personal and professional lives. Throughout my journey God has put people along my path that have changed my life.
I will always remember my Thursday morning Men’s Group. We met every week to read into God’s word intentionally as we shared our struggles and weaknesses; as well as our dreams and passions. These men became my brothers. We shared great moments of inspiration that helped us become better husbands and better fathers.
My father-in-law first introduced me to this notion of work as an act of worship. I first heard it when I was still in college. I believe that connection provided me a strong foundation for my academic and professional success. Now-a-days, I’m engaged with other professionals who believe in a higher calling for the marketplace. Together we have learned to better manage work projects, business goals and career decisions. You can check out more on the Marketplace Matters website
Through these connections I have learned to believe more in myself. My gifts and skills exist for a reason and I have been placed in a position to learn and grow. Whether at home or at work, my relationships have shaped me into a better man. A better leader.
Who are you thankful for? How have your relationships shaped you and contributed to the person you are today? Share below and keep the discussion going on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.