We often hear leaders throw around business buzzwords about their personnel like coach confetti… You’ve probably heard them too! “Let’s get a checkup from the neck up!” and “You can do better than you think you can!” and my all time favorite “If you think it, you can become it!” All are great sayings, and true to a certain extent, but what about the grand-daddy of them all… “You can’t soar with the eagles if you’re hanging with the turkeys.” So in this post, we’ll examine exactly why it’s important soaring with the eagles in order to accomplish what you set out to… Enjoy!
Tell Me Who Your Friends Are, and I’ll Tell You Who You Are
While it might be romantic to believe that opposites attract, keep in mind that birds of a feather tend to flock together. With the romantic notion not withstanding, some people still hold on to the perception that dissimilarity brings/keeps people together. However decades of empirical research paints a different picture (a very different picture at that!) You see the overwhelming number of our friends and acquaintances are instead of different in fact similar to us. The people we know/love/trust/respect resemble us in the most basic social characteristics, such as gender, age, race, and educational background. They also resemble us in more complicated attitudes, such as our political views, cultural tastes, and sense of humor. Most people live in a social bubble and there is a good chance that this is true for your friend group as well.
While our friends tend to be similar, many people are oblivious to this because they assume that they do not pick their friends because of their similarity. Social connections depend first and foremost on who it is that we get to meet. And this “who” factor depends in large part on the social environment that we enter and the activities we engage in once there.
Birds of a Feather Flock Together
This social environment goes a long way towards explaining who we are (What we stand for), but where we go to align with such standings. Meaning that the company you keep reflects your personality and the intrinsic value that you bring. At its simplest level, a smart person surrounds themselves with other equally smart people.
While a tad judgmental, the old saying that goes “If you hang out with trash, you will be perceived as trash” was never more true. Also equally important to recognize that if you walk like a duck, quack like a duck, and fly like a duck you’ll probably assimilate with other similar ducks (Because, you my friend are a duck).
The Books You Read and The Company You Keep
Charlie “Tremendous” Jones was a great mentor to many. He repeatedly said that, “You will be the same person you are today in five years but for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” So what is the leader of the 21st Century to do in order to become the best leader that they can be, given the circumstances of available books and company kept?
At the Javelin Institute we offer a variety of leadership development offerings and executive coaching programs (Centered Executive Coaching | Leadership Centered Coaching | Stakeholder Centered Coaching | Business Centered Coaching). These offerings allow you, the leader, the opportunity to break free from current books/company and spread your eagle wings.
The Javelin Launch Executive Summary
In this post we’ve taken a look at whether you are soaring with the eagles as a leader. While friends, birds, and books determine your altitude today, it doesn’t have to reflect your altitude tomorrow! Soaring with the Eagles can be accomplished through lifelong learning that begins today and each and every day moving forward.