The people who surround you can sap you of energy or motivate and inspire you. Leaders must choose their company wisely, as their leadership performance affects many people down the organizational ranks. Leadership coaching can help leaders create teams that challenge, encourage, and teach them how to achieve their goals.

“Be wary of the company you keep, for they are a reflection of who you are, or who you want to be.” – Kenneth G. Ortiz.

Some say you will become like the five people with whom you spend the most time. These popular adages may not be perfectly accurate, but there’s plenty of truth in them. The people you surround yourself with have significant influence on your mindset and your outlook on life. If you’re a leader, putting together the perfect mix of personalities in your entourage can be challenging. Leadership coaching can help, however.


Surrounding yourself with the right people reframes the leadership equation. 

Executive coaching considers optimism to be a sign of leadership maturity. Optimism allows leaders to paint a compelling future vision and inspire others. Optimism gives leaders and employees the motivation they need today to work toward a better tomorrow.

Mature, optimistic leaders see setbacks as learning opportunities and are willing to embrace change, believing it leads to something better.

The Dangers of Pure Optimism

While optimism is indispensable for living a constructive life, going overboard with it can be detrimental to leadership. Pure optimism prompts leaders to renounce the benefits of contrarian opinions.

The savviest leaders keep an adversarial company. Constructive but realistic criticism is a significant asset for leaders. Teams that constantly challenge and push each other are highly functional unless the competition degenerates into toxicity.

Unwavering pure optimism can rob leaders of alternative perspectives and data that feeds critical thinking. Successful leaders need to surround themselves with people willing to disagree with them. “Yes” men bring nothing positive to the leadership equation and serve as blinders rather than eye openers for leaders.

The Dangers of Negativity

From the perspective of leadership coaching, negativity is more poisonous than pure optimism. It stifles creativity and inspiration. It snaps the wings of motivation and opens the door to failure.

In the corporate context, negativity can surface in many forms. Some are obvious, while others are more subtle.

Colleagues in constant personal turmoil and who are unable to make meaningful progress in life can be as poisonous as those who look to better their standings by belittling others.

People who can’t elevate themselves won’t settle for wallowing around in the misery of their own making. Knowingly or not, they try to bring others down to their levels.

Leadership is not easy by any measure. It can be taxing emotionally, mentally, and physically. Leaders need people who motivate, inspire, and sometimes cheer for them instead of being additional burdens.

Playing with People Who Are Better than You

If you’re trying to improve a skill like basketball, football, hockey, or martial arts, you play with or against those who are better.

Some leaders like to be the smartest people in the room. If you’re one of those leaders and you find that you’re the most intelligent figure in the group, you’re doing leadership wrong. You’re surrounding yourself with the wrong people.

Executive coaching is about engaging with people more knowledgeable about the subtleties of leadership. By keeping a company comprised of smarter people, you create situations that constantly challenge and push you to develop your leadership abilities.

The right circle of influence reshapes your expectations regarding what you can achieve as a leader.

Building Meaningful Relationships with Relevant People

Meaningful relationships form the basis of solid leadership. 

Building real-life relationships with people who have already accomplished your goals is priceless. Successful people are generally keen to show you how to get from A to B. It fills them with pride if they can help you succeed.

These relevant people who can act as your mentors can also help you avoid the mistakes they made and shorten your road to success.

The best leaders create a stimulating, challenging environment around them that raises the bar on expectations and provides actionable help. Business coaching is an element that fits well into such an environment.


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