unlock hidden, untapped and unrealized potential

Choosing Our Associates

Written by Rebecca Okamoto on Jan. 5, 2014

Perspective from Colin Powell; Comments by Rebecca Okamoto

Many proclaim themselves loyal, but who can find one who is worthy of trust? Proverbs 20:6

Being a leader can be lonely business. Colin Powell, former Secretary of State, gives some great advice on how to choose our associates. He also admonishes us regarding whom NOT to pick: "Those that don't increase you will eventually decrease you."

Our friends are a reflection of our character: "The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate - for the good and the bad."

Worthy friendship is a universal quest. People can say anything, it's how they act that counts. Who will walk down the narrow road with you, willing and able to weather the storm? Who will stand in the gap with you? General Powell said, "Command is lonely." So true!

Choose your companions wisely.

The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve.

Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don't help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don't increase you will eventually decrease you.

Consider this: Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how.

Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don't follow anyone who's not going anywhere.

With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.

"A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses." The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate - for the good and the bad.

Note: Be not mistaken. This is applicable to family as well as friends. Yes...do love, appreciate and be thankful for your family, for they will always be your family no matter what. Just know that they are human first and though they are family to you, they may be a friend to someone else and will fit somewhere in the criteria above.

"In Prosperity Our Friends Know Us. In Adversity We Know Our friends."

Visit goodreads for the full excerpt.

« Previous Article More Leadership Essentials Articles
All Articles
Next Article »