I recently read an article by Jessica Hagy, a contributor at Forbes.com, titled “The 6 people you need in your corner.” The article is about having those individuals in your life or on your team that push you, drive you to be better, cheer you on when you need it, or expand your reach so that you can achieve incredible things.
As I was reading, I was immediately thinking about who I have in my life and what categories they all fall into. Do I have a cheerleader? Do I want or need one? Who doesn’t want to achieve great things? To have a formula for getting there…Awesome.
What’s wrong with this line of thinking? In theory, nothing. The direct purpose of the article was to have a reader consider these very questions. But it also offers the opportunity to perform a different evaluation. One that is not stated outright, but should be considered whenever you are offered the formula for “n people you need in your life to do xyz.”
It didn’t take me long to turn the articles 180 degrees and ask myself “which one of these roles do I fill for others?” It’s all fine and good to look around and consider who you have in your corner – but who’s got you in their corner? And what is your contribution to their success?
As a leader, we can and do play many roles to many people. There is a time and a place to be a cheerleader or a challenger. When you have to have broad shoulders – to help bear a heavy burden or so they can be cried on. I would like to think that at one time or another (often in a given day), I have played all of these roles to various people in my personal and professional life.
As a leader, this article reminded me just how much the people I am responsible for need me in their corner to achieve great things.