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Becoming Like The People You Spend Time With

Have you ever considered how – over time – you tend to become more like the people you spend time with?

A few days ago I had the privilege of giving the keynote talk at the Client Advisor Awards in Atlanta. In the crowd was an amazing group of professionals dedicated to serving standing in the gap for their clients. While it was fun getting to share my thoughts with the group about how to be more innovative in their work, the greatest joy of the night was getting to see my friend riCardo Crespo recognized as an award winner for his work as SVP/Global Creative Chief at 20th Century Fox.

riCardo is one of my favorite people in the world, and I don’t say that lightly. He is someone I aspire to be more like, because he exemplifies professionalism, is a spark plug of creative insight, and has the ability to reframe a conversation with just a few words. I take every opportunity I can to be around him. (In fact, I’ll be in Los Angeles this weekend to speak to a group from Intel and riCardo and I have blocked off time – in the midst of our crazy schedules – to spend more time together.)

Why? Because we inspire and challenge one another to be better at what we do, and that’s important enough to make time together a priority.

As you survey the broad array of relationships in your life, do you spend time with people who…

  • challenge you to be better?
  • call out your BS and don’t let you coast?
  • model professionalism to you?
  • question your assumptions?
  • root for your success?
  • mourn your failures?
  • introduce you to new ideas?
  • share their doubts or struggles?
  • …???

Who are these people for you? One thing I’ve learned about relationships is that I tend to become more like the people I spend the most time with. Because of that, I try to spend as much time as possible with people I want to be more like.

So a few questions:
– Do you have someone / some people in your life who meet the above criteria, and…
– What other criteria would you add to above list?

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