In our Vision document for Rising, I specifically created a section entitled: “Associate with Greatness.”
We encourage our employees to find mentors and to continue to develop. We encourage our leaders to find outside peers to associate with and learn from.
Why? We know associating with the best will drive us to be the best.
This is the same concept we all realized with our children. The better the friends they hang around with, the better off they will be. It applies throughout life.
I have always believed I perform better when I am challenged by great people. I love hanging out with others that I can learn from and be inspired by. For this reason, I attend week-long retreats for CEO’s and entrepreneurs once or twice annually. I’m a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). I always try to sit on a few boards of other successful companies. When I see something they have done well, or not so well, it’s always a powerful learning experience – and a great way to learn without having to make the mistake myself.
Now, research shows what I’ve been saying is proven out at public companies. Companies with CEO’s who sit on external boards perform better themselves than companies that do not. It’s so much faster and more effective to learn from others than to try to create and learn everything from scratch yourself. This alone can have as great an impact on your career as anything else.