It is early Wednesday morning and I am in a familiar place…a hotel room in Boca Raton, FL. I am here every three weekends teaching in the EMBA Program at one of the most international and fastest-rising MBA Programs in the world, Florida Atlantic University (FAU). I am honored and privileged to work with and coach 30 EMBA students each semester, helping them achieve a greater degree of success as leaders, professionals and people.  It is typical for me to coach ten students per day over a three day period.

It is truly “marathon” coaching as I must give every ounce of my mind, heart and soul to each student every minute. I am exhausted at the end, but more than anything, I am energized and inspired by my students each of whom has a unique story that defines them. Whether it was they grew up in a loving family with little money but they had great parents who taught them the right values and principles, or they left their country at age 17 and arrived in the U.S., with no money and no knowledge of the English language. They could have even had a dream to pursue bigger and better opportunities, or they struggled through college from age 18-21, were expelled because of poor grades, and found themselves “alone” and confused about who they were and why they were on the earth, and truly were at “rock bottom” before waking up and realizing if they wanted to achieve greatness that they would have to focus. The stories are as rich and varied as are the students….as a person and coach, I am truly privileged to have the opportunity to help them shape their destiny.

One thing that I have learned in my life as well as coaching CEO’s, senior executives and high-potential executives, and it is continually reinforced each weekend at FAU, is that if we are going to become the best we can be…regardless of what our individual pursuits are. We must surround ourselves with great people. If you take the ten people you spend most of your time with, I would predict that you are essentially the “average” of those ten people….including how much money you earn. If you want to breakthrough to achieve new levels of success, happiness, and abundance, you need to expand your sphere of connections to include mentors and stakeholders who represent and reflect the levels to which you aspire.

I am not talking about throwing away your friends. I am talking about expanding your sphere to include new relationships that will offer you new dreams, new insights, new lessons, and a revitalized passion for what is possible in your personal and professional life! This is what I see each weekend at FAU. Students are proud to be among fellow students who share their passion for greatness….they motivate each other through their own achievement and drive, but also through their support. This brings me to my 1st Law of Intelligent Leadership (15 more to come in the next few weeks) that if you practice it…will bring you personal and professional abundance:

“Align yourself with people of extraordinary character and competence.”

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