In the leadership conversations I’ve had over the years, I’ve discovered most people are looking for a “secret” that will magically change their life or business for the better.

I’ll often be asked, “What do I need to do right now that will make the biggest difference to my ___________ (fill in the blank) relationship with my boss, co-workers, colleagues, clients, husband/wife, bottom line, etc.?”

They want the “Presto Chango” secret that with the wave of a magic wand will make everything work out for the best.

In reality, there is no secret.

If you aren’t getting the results you want, you have to change something.

And, the hardest thing to change is behavior.

Making a positive change in behavior requires you to stop doing something and/or start doing something else – and it’s easier said than done.

When it comes to breaking a habit and creating a new one, it’s never been an easy road for me to travel.

I’ve struggled at different intersections of my life with making choices around health, money, relationships, etc.

After staying in the struggle long enough where the pain of staying where I was felt like too much to bear, I found myself at a crossroads.

It is from that place that I often reach out to someone I trust who has expertise in that particular area to get their sage advice about how to get the result I desire.

I’ve hired performance, health/fitness, business, speaking, finance and sales coaches, recognizing I can’t get where I want to go alone.

If you’re not where you want to be, you’ve got to make changes.

When I acknowledged the level of success I wanted for myself, I recognized I had to make a few big changes immediately.

Yet, how do you change your life in an instant?

Years ago, this started with who I hung out with and how I spent my time.

The people you intentionally spend your time with every day will either hold you back from the success you want or allow you to grow your professional life or enrich your personal life faster than you could have imagined.

No one does it alone.

We all need help along the way and people who see our brilliance and call us forth and partner with us to take steps to bring our brilliance out into the world.

This is why I have a 100-foot rule.

I don’t let anyone within 100-feet of me who is filled with negative energy.

It’s also why I lead events like Design Your Destiny Live and “Success to Significance” Leadership Summits. I get to be around people who see my brilliance, and I see theirs.

And, I have lots of friends who don’t have businesses, so it’s not about having work in common.

It’s about intentionally surrounding myself with the others who are similarly committed and lifting one another up.

Who do you hang out with?

Surround yourself with others who are going where you want to go because a rising tide lifts all boats.

Great leaders get this.

They aren’t working on projects in a vacuum waiting for the change to happen.

They’re reaching out to people who have been there before and can show them a new way.

You may have heard me say, “When you’re the smartest person in your circle of friends, you need new friends.”

To take this a step further, when I’ve decided to make a positive change in my behavior, I hired people who had massive amounts of experience in the area I wanted to create new habits.

Studying and learning from mentors and coaches whose expertise came from their own experience because they fell down and made mistakes like me was far more valuable than someone who read a few books on the topic.

Surrounding myself with these experts allowed me to experience a positive change in behavior faster than if I were to have gone it alone.

Where do you go to spend your time learning from people with experience?

Strategic choices to change the people in your circle can geometrically increase your rate of habit change, and this is an advantage you can create for yourself.

Surround yourself with the best. Learn from the best. Embody the best.    


The Upside Challenge of the week is to identify what new habits and behaviors you need to develop? Find an expert who models or has mastered these habits and behaviors. Study them — specifically their work and the habits that support their success. Practice what you learn.

The world needs you and your brilliance.

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