You can read pretty much any article on leadership and team culture these days and they all say the same thing…
“Surround yourself with the best people so you can raise your game and become even better.”
I’ve been stymied by this statement over the past few years because this statement suggests that you must be in arms reach of these people all day long, interacting with them on a daily basis and collectively focused on what neverending goal towards AWESOMENESS.
But this is impossible for the following reasons;
- I don’t know all the GREAT people in the world, so how do I classify them?
- Would all these people want to live where I live?
- Would we get bored of everyone’s AWESOMENESS from time-to-time?
- Would our level of AWESOMENESS peak at some point?
- Is my industry the GREATEST industry in the world?
Knowing this, I’ve started to reach out to more and more people across LinkedIn by reading their work and consuming as much of their knowledge and experience as I can. They come from all over the world, people I would not normally have met but that I invested in 20 minutes of time in going through their work and learning from them and making the decision that I want to keep learning more from them.
And the people that I have met from completely different fields of interest that I would not ever interact with normally but now talk with via association et al has been incredible. Ideas and solutions that I would have never normally thought of, I now think and apply to my own work.
The greatest people are not in our own backyard, they are in areas we don’t know, have never met and we never will unless we take that awkward, weird first step of introducing yourself and starting that conversation.
The only boundary that exists today is the one that exists in our mind that says – “I can’t talk to them”.