from Darryl L. Mobley
(The First 6)
Let’s cut to the chase: Studies have shown, and my 20 years as a life coach have confirmed, that business people who have a team of friends are more productive at work, feel more fulfilled, are more committed to excellence on the job, are more engaged in personal development, are more likely to give praise & feedback, have a stronger connection with their businesses, make others happier, and have stronger professional & personal networks.
According to WebMD, those without friends are more likely to die an early death. Alrighty then! But, that’s not all. You need a team of friends in your life – bringing different attributes to your party – in order to maximize your professional achievement. Imagine a football team where every player was a quarterback. No matter how good the quarterbacking, that team will under perform without others who fill the roles of center, wide receiver, linebacker, and so forth. Variety in friends is both the spice of life and the jet fuel of professional success. Here are six of the twelve types of friends you need on your team. [By the way – I reveal a personal bit about some of my friends and ask a favor at the bottom of this article. Read on.]
A “Sancho Panza” Friend
Do you have a trusty “Sancho Panza” sidekick to you as Don Quixote? You know the type: S/he is genuinely thrilled when you succeed. I am very fortunate to have a number of friends through the years who’ve celebrated my successes and those of my kids as if their own lives were better as a result. Every businessperson needs the positive energy and affirmation that Sancho provides. It makes the hard journey in the world of business that much easier to navigate. These friends are as rare as they are absolute gold! No matter how high you rise, your Sancho Panza will never exhibit any envy of your success. True: A good Sancho may be called upon to make good things happen for you, lead you to a better place, or take a few bullets for you (metaphorically speaking, of course) over the course of your business career. By the way — I also hope that you are someone’s Sancho Panza. [My Sancho is unbelievably good to and for me. And while it doesn’t have to be a reciprocal relationship, I always hope that I’m a good Sancho for my Sancho.]
A “Best Man” or “Maid of Honor” Friend
Ah yes! Who’s your Best Man/Maid of Honor? You know – that person (often of somewhat equal stature to you) that you go to for his/her input when you have a major business decision to make. Who is the person you trust with your career decisions? To take the analogy a bit further: You are the groom/bride. Your business goals/company is equivalent to the person you will marry. And, your Best Man/Maid of Honor is that confidant you trust to keep the wedding rings (your business secrets & concerns) until needed for the ceremony. Your Best Man/Maid of Honor will stand by you during your most important moments. You need a Best Man/Maid of Honor because it’s lonely having to stand there (go through the stresses of building a business/career) all by yourself! [I’ll be honest with you. I love my Best Man. I don’t hesitate to ask him for career advice, business assistance, or a good joke. We will talk confidentially about the valuable “wedding rings” of our lives: kids, marriage, business goals… Sometimes I call and we speak for three minutes. Sometimes I call and we speak for three hours.]
A “Francie Fearless” Friend
Who is that friend that lives life on an edge that is often so far out and is so razor sharp that it forces you to expand your thinking outside of your comfort zone? Who is that friend that makes sure that you truly live life and stretch for new adventures and new ideas? Your Francie Fearless friend is like having an extra brain that is willing to consider the wild, the daring, the impossible, and the uncomfortable. You may rarely venture out as far on the business limb as your Francie Fearless, but because of this friend you will never forget that there is a place (examples: an idea, a marketing approach, an out-of-the-box new product) beyond what you might consider if left to your own thinking. Having a Francie Fearless gives you an amazing competitive advantage. [Imagine the Francie Fearless who first said: “You know… What if we made movies available on cell phones?” Or, “You know… What if we took the stale bread we normally throw away every day… Let’s put some flavoring on it and bake it crispy… Then, we call it croutons and sell it for a premium. We’ll make a fortune on what we used to throw away!” Sometimes crazy is genius.]
A “Brutally Honest Bob” Friend
I was once told by a client that I should run for the office of “U.S. Secretary of Brutal Honesty” for my tendency to give my clients the unvarnished truth that I believed would help them achieve more, be more and live more. The truth uttered by your Brutally Honest Bob may not set you free. However, your Brutally Honest Bob friend will allow you to make better decisions. At the end of the day, those who consistently make better decisions will gain better personal & business results in the short and long term. So, you need a friend who is brutally honest with you (in constructive ways). [Imagine if someone in the room had mustered the courage to utter this truth: “Naming our new kitchen entrees food line after our Colgate toothpaste brand is not a good idea.” Yes, Colgate once launched “Colgate’s Kitchen Entrees.” Of course, it failed miserably. Nuff said!] By the way – I kinda wish there was a U.S. Secretary of Brutal Honesty.
A “Playmaker” Friend
The Playmaker is the friend who always comes through with an idea, a date, a once-in-a-lifetime vacation destination, the ideal gift for your hard-to-buy-for family member, a workable approach to a business dilemma, or the perfect party to attend. The Playmaker friend is a doer. In many ways, they are “the straw that stirs the drink.” All it takes to get the Playmaker friend rolling are the questions: “What’s up?” or “What do you think?” [Imagine never being “stuck” doing the same old thing over and over, either professionally or personally. A Playmaker friend will always make something good happen for you.]
A “Sara Sage” Friend
I don’t care who you are or what you have accomplished, you need a mentor. A guide at your side. This Sara Sage should inspire you to make yourself better each and every day. The key to making a Sara Sage friend a part of your life is for you to trust and look up to this person. They may be a model of what you want your professional or personal lives to look like. [What would it be worth to you to make one-half of the mistakes in your business career that you would normally make on your own? That’s what a Sara Sage can do for you. That’s the value of a co-pilot on commercial flights.]
Please note, you may have a friend or two who does double or triple duty for you by being multiple types of friends. That’ll work!
About my friends
So there I was engaged to be married. What to do for my bachelor party? I know – I will invite my groomsmen to take a week-long trip with me in a giant Winnebago for the seven days right before my wedding. There were some stipulations. If they came, they would not know where we were going. Once they entered the Winnebago they could not reveal to others (girlfriends and so forth) where we were going once I shared the itinerary. Cell phones were forbidden. It was to be a focused time of friends getting together and enjoying conversation and the company of each other. No photos. What happened on the bachelor party Winnebago trip stayed on the bachelor party Winnebago trip. One week. We did it. I can tell you that we took the Winnebago international. I can tell you that it was huge fun. I can tell you that one beer was consumed during the entire week. (I can tell you that I did not drink it.) I can tell you that we made it back in time for the wedding.
I can tell you that I respected those who were on the trip more after the trip than I did before the trip because I found out more about them – their goals, dreams, challenges, perspectives… I can tell you that trip has been the source of strength for me over the years. When faced with a business challenge I will often ask myself, “What would have been the advice of the be Winnebago crew?” I can also tell you that each of the twelve types of friends you need were represented on the trip. It was an incredible time full of self-growth. If you are yet to marry – – you may want to try it. For that matter, it might be just the thing if you are already married! Just sayin’.
Now – Go get some friends to complete your team.
I will share the remaining six of the 12 Types of Friends Every Business Person Should Have in a future article.
What other types of friends do you think are needed? Let me know with a comment below because I’m really curious.
Remember – You DO Deserve To Live A Great Life!
Darryl L. Mobley – Life & Executive Coach
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Darryl L. Mobley is a top-selling personal development author and is globally recognized as an expert in leadership & business growth, personal development, peak performance, and professional achievement without personal failure. He is also a popular speaker and trainer. He has been called the “Best Life Coach on the Planet!” and “America’s No. 1 Life Coach” and is an in-demand executive coach. He is CEO of JanetTV.com, the digital destination for athletic & active females and female sports.