Have you heard this? At any given point, you are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.
Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn famously stopped entrepreneurs, professionals, and thinking people in their tracks when he suggested this as a certainty. I’ve thought a lot about this lately because I find it remarkably true. When can you disagree? Maybe we’re the sum of 7 people? 🙂 We’ll call this core group our “tribe.” Whether we intend to or not, we all live, work, and play in our tribes.
How much do you think about your role in your tribe? Sometimes we take for granted the impact WE have in our closest relationships, and maybe more importantly, how THEY impact our own lives. Surely we’ve all witnessed someone assimilate to a group’s patterns, behaviors, language, habits, etc. Do we behave differently in our own lives?
We each have 5 or 7 people in our world we rely on, and we grow (or shrink!) into our next phases of life with them too. These fine folks are there with us, yet we’re often not with them. We are endlessly distracted and caught up in our own technological thicket of data, notifications, pictures, videos, soundbites, yada yada yada… As our coach reminds us frequently, distractions cause failures. Are you distracting? Are you distracted?
So the roots of my questions are simple: Are you aware of your tribe, how you’re impacting them, and are you present when you’re with them?
If you answered “no” to the last one, you’re often invisible – even in your tribe’s presence. It’s really challenging to make a difference in someone’s life when you’re invisible!
If you’ve ever been involved with someone on our team, you know we are not your typical “9-to-5ers” and we’re rarely invisible. We’re intense. We’re passionate. Our interview process is no less than 15 steps and often takes up to 40 hours to complete from the first step to being hired. Then, after all that is complete, we still have a 100-day program to make sure both sides match. We don’t let new folks into our tribe easily. Just like cavemen and cavewomen, this is our way of protecting ourselves and our values.
This protection is critical for our growth and our success. I’m grateful every day for the way our team draws from their own tribes and how they contribute energy back. Follow me while I bring this point home:
Todd is a bull in a china shop, and it’s probably because he walks into every room with his heart first. He’s a philanthropist for Charlestown and our market center, serves in many leadership and service roles, and is even traveling soon to build homes with Habitat for Humanity.
Rachel constantly helps with everything from painting your new home (say hi Alexis!) to making sure everyone on the team is fully supported with what they need to succeed every single day.
Kristin pulls out all the stops for her family – both at work and home. One day we’ll look back and say, “No matter what, she was ALWAYS there for us.”
Alison is always hunting for opportunities to grow herself and her family. She’s tenacious in reaching her goals yet somehow manages to make sure everyone at home is happy and has more than they need.
Amanda brings a sense of joy into every place she finds. She’ll see success quickly because of how much love she gives to the people close to her.
April is lionhearted. She has never been afraid to work hard, get her hands dirty, get things done, or go home and appreciate holding her kids close.
Ashley sees learning and reading like drinking water: critical for her growth and survival. It’s easy to appreciate her spirit of determination and quiet resolve to be her best.
So I’ll challenge Jim Rohn’s idea. There isn’t a limit on our 5 people. Instead, I’ll argue you’re the average of your tribe.
At work, our tribe makes our company awesome and our lives bigger for each other. These are only a few of the people I trust my time with, and I’m fine with only being the average of them.