“You will never outperform your inner circle, if you want to achieve at a higher level, always be improving your inner circle.”
Yesterday, I wrote about guarding your heart from naysayers, belittlers, and mockers. Today, it’s the flip side of the same coin. First purge your life of the dregs that are keeping you down and then fill that vacuum with folks that are where you want to be. When I was a young Lance Corporal, in the Marine Corps, I would hang out with the senior Corporals. Once I was promoted to Corporal, I ran with the Sergeants and Staff Sergeants. Once I made Sergeant, I would hang around Captains and Majors. I’ve followed that pattern my entire life, but I really started upping the game once I became a federal agent. I had the opportunity to be around the nation’s political leaders, and because of those associations, I was able to be around heads of state, the top thinker in the country, the top business minds, the top artists, story tellers and musicians, and the top military minds and strategic thinkers. I was like a sponge soaking up as much as I possibly could. I did a lot of listening, spoke only when spoken to, and only offered my opinion when asked for it.
Instead of one or two levels above my station, I launched to the highest levels of the economic, intellectual, political, and military fields. I have continued that practice, never being a pest but quietly learning from any master Peak Performer that will let me into their inner circle, to see behind the curtain. I’ve been privileged enough to personally protect some of the wealthiest families on the planet, and hear what they really think (especially after a few glasses of wine). Those experiences were a more valuable education than my Ph.D.
It’s not hard to do. Set your sights on the highest level performers in your world, especially the ones you think are out of your reach. Plan out a thirty second introduction along with a personal “selling message” about why you would like to learn from them. World Class Peak Performers are always looking to pass on what they know to “up and comers”, it’s their way of giving back and being grateful. Just be sure that you show them that same level of gratitude, because the truth is they don’t have to teach you….but they almost always do when asked.