Picking the people around you: ‘Team Up or Team Down’

The importance of picking the right people to help you reach your objectives

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A Greek saying goes as follows: “If you show me your friends, I can tell you who you are”. I would say the same goes for business. Work with the best, be one of the best. Work with the rest, be like the rest. Simply, you can either ‘Team Up or Team Down’.

In today’s competitive environment, if you want to excel in life you need to associate yourself with the best. It’s the same in your personal life. If your friends are crooks you will most likely end up one yourself. If you actively associate with philanthropists you will do more work of that nature. If you talk business with friends you will slowly start to think in a similar manner and absorb the technical terms involved in such analysis.

“Never allow people into your life that hold you back.”

Associate yourself with people that have a positive impact on yourself, people that demand more from you, that improve you. Never allow people into your life that hold you back. You need positive characters in your life that will help you achieve your full potential.

The same goes for business. One wrong decision can collapse your entire business plan. You need the right people around you to accumulate knowledge and achieve success. Many companies cutting down on startup costs have paid the price in the future. You need the right individuals that may not necessarily offer the most affordable price, but the best quality-to-price result.

Companies in the past have suffered from low-quality planning, marketing, tax advice, accounting, audits, internal audits, and strategic advice. In most cases, remember that you get what you pay for. What many do not realize is the collateral damage of a shortfall in one of the above areas.

Coca-Cola, one of the most prominent brands of any industry in the world, faced a huge threat when they introduced the new coke in 1985, thus changing the recipe of coke. This resulted in public outrage. 3 months later it reintroduced the old recipe. Even though it did not cost Coke in any significant way, in the long run, it could have caused serious damage if they didn’t remain open to feedback and never adjusted the recipe back to its original composition.

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”

Steve Jobs stated the following: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”. What we need to understand as individuals is that we can all learn from one another. The most dangerous thing is when someone’s ego gets in the way of what is right and prudent.

In many cases, egoism does not allow the right decision to be made. As discussed above, we need to associate with the correct type of people, but also adjust on a personal level in order for us to be able to become more receptive to the ideas of the best from these individuals. We need to receive the most positive influence possible and keep out all the negative influence.

“If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.”

One of my favorite quotes is by Confucius that states that “If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.” This clearly indicates that you should strive to be in groups that you can learn and gain more.

In summary, remember that choices today should not only be financial or convenient. Instead, you should strive to team up with people, groups, and companies that will enable you to achieve your long term goals and become the person that you envision yourself being.

by George Loizou, Managing Director, Palema

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