Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Whether we like to admit it or not, we are greatly influenced by those closest to us. They can affect multiple aspects of our lives, but most importantly how we think. Because thoughts have the ability to become things, you must careful select who is on your proverbial advisory board. The development and distribution of what you generate and add to the “common” wealth depends on it.
When I am delivering my Incorporate You(TM) packages and seminars to clients, I often challenge them to think about who they have in their inner circle and how frequently they tap into the collective wisdom. Corporations have advisory boards with regularly scheduled meetings, why shouldn’t individuals employ the same strategy to unlock their own potential?
Here is a sampling of things you should consider as you create your personal advisory board.
1. Determine the Objective – What is the purpose of and the value the individuals in your inner circle bring to your personal and professional development? What are the established SMART goals to ensure that your career transition or personal branding plan are working well? Each person that you entrust should have a clear sense of your goals and what they are being asked to do to get you there faster.
2. Select Individuals with Diverse Skills – You may have three to five mentors/members of your board and they should have strengths that complement your weaknesses. You should select these individuals based on their skills, accomplishments, values structure and willingness to push you outside your comfort zone.
3. Compensate Them – Out of sheer respect for his/her time and tutelage, find unique ways to compensate the persons that are contributing to your growth. Simple things like gift cards, buying him/her lunch, reimbursing for travel expenses or contributing to causes s/he may be passionate about will go a long way for continued assistance.
4. Meeting Agendas – Walk into every meeting with a defined purpose and succinct agenda. Perhaps you have a big presentation coming up and you need advice about delivery and follow up. Send your board member an agenda so that s/he can prepare and bring helpful hints/tips/advice/stories that will drive the learning home for you.
5. Sharpen the Saw – As relationships run their course, do not be afraid to slowly remove underperforming members and replace them with individuals who have the experiences you need to go to the next level. Continual reassessment of your goals and who can best assist you as you make quantum leaps in your career will be vital to you impacting the triple bottom line.
As you gather valuable information from people on your advisory board, be sure to serve on others’ boards and pay it forward as well. There is no higher purpose than to share the stories of success with others who can use the knowledge to change the world.
Jim Rohn also said, “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”
Live up to your potential, generate value for others and change the world.