Surround Yourself With People Who Believe In You
Think. Plan. Commit. Work hard. Assess. Evaluate. Redirect.
We're taught that if we want to achieve success, those are the essential steps we need to follow. That if we are to be successful, we must be methodical, diligent and direct. And that it's all down to us.
And it is. I'm a huge believer in the power inherent in all of us to do what we desire. It's a critical ingredient in the story of almost every successful individual we meet, watch or read about.
But it's one critical ingredient. It's not the whole story.
Because as much as I believe we control our destiny, I also know that the company you keep - those you work with, those you work for, those you socialize with and, especially, those you confide in - makes or breaks you as much as anything you will put your mind to.
In particular, I believe that who you work for is the most essential ingredient from a workplace point of view. The right boss will motivate you, encourage you to express yourself, free you to be who you need to be and, push back when you need it most.
The right boss will also ensure that the environment you work within is a positive, inclusive, encouraging one.
He or she will recognize that any persistent negative chatter ultimately turns toxic and demotivates the entire group (and hence needs to be removed from the equation, quickly). That each individual needs to be managed and encouraged in their own ways, not by favoritism or selective special treatment, but by understanding the individual motivations that drive, stall or demotivate the person.
The value of who you work for was perfectly illustrated in an article I read on Daniel Coyle's website about how Steve Kerr manages Steph Curry, one of the greatest basketball players ever. Curry doesn't need to be told he's good. He knows that. He needs to hear that his confidence in doing the unconventional is essential to his success, that his gut is in the right place when it tells him what to do next, that his ability to move the team is every bit as critical (if not more so) than his individual numbers.
Coaches like Steve Kerr know what moves a Steph Curry and what doesn't. Similarly, they know to tell another player lacking in confidence that perhaps they need to go back to basics, and keep pushing on the fundamentals until they get their game back. (Check out the video below to see Kerr and Curry in action.)
Different strokes for different folks.
As a member of a team, it's important to remember that. It doesn't matter if you're employee number 5 or 5,000 or 50,000. If the environment you operate in leaves your head more full of negative chatter than it does positive, if the environment leaves you frustrated or demotivated, then you need to change it - quick.
Because if you don't surround yourself with people who are positive, who are hopeful, who believe in you, then you're in the wrong place.
Change it. Move. Find a new team. Start your own team. You cannot afford to live life and work with people who will not encourage you to be the best you can be.
Surround yourself with people who believe in you.
Trust me, you'll never go wrong.