You officially put 2016 (a whopper of a year) to bed with the raucous bang it deserved. Your goals are set. Your plan is mapped. Your desk is organized and neat and hungry for the powerful action 2017 will inevitably bring.
There’s one monumental thing you forgot—and in my experience it’s this thing that is the magic that successfully moves people from Point A to Point B, or more realistically—Point A to Point A.1 to Point A.2 and so on. This magic is your team!
Your team should include all of the people who already support you, cheer you on and motivate you right now--in an informal way. Now we’re going to make it official and specific. You won’t need to draw up contracts or roles and responsibilities documents, and there won’t be money changing hands, just some coffee, wine or a meal on occasion. You will ask for their help by acknowledging their meaning and the special role they play in your life. Yes, deep, but we don’t build powerful, lasting relationships without going there. And in 2017, we’re going there!
Modern wisdom (or perhaps it’s age-old wisdom that’s new again) tells us that when we seek a life partner, we can’t expect that person to fulfill our every need. I like to apply this filter to my team. To live a powerful life that I create, to be a leader—I’m going to need a lot of support to get there. The open job recs are vast, so let’s identify the needs before we fill the roles.
2017 Career Support Team
- Person to make you laugh when shit hits the fan
- Subject Matter Expert in your field
- Someone in your industry, at your level AND who actually cares about your day to day minutia
- Guru who has navigated his/her career with impressive wisdom
- Unconditional loving person who will just let you talk
- Unconditional loving person who cuts off your talking to push you to go deeper
- Running partner
- The one who sits with you when you cry
- Childhood friend who can cheer you on by telling you that you’ve always had this in you OR that you’ve come such a long way
- The one who will drop everything and play hooky with you to see a movie
Your list will look different than mine, of course.
And before you fill the roles, let’s be clear who SHOULD NOT be on the list. I see clients mistakenly looking to these people for support and as a result, they end up feeling frustrated and depleted.
2017 People Who Love Us But Don’t Overtly Support Us
- The person who feels threatened by you (for reasons that are not about you)
- Negative friend or family member who constantly challenges your actions
- The person who wants you to play it safe because he/she is scared for you or for both of you
What I find comforting about this short list of people—is that just because they may not support you in taking on some of your goals, it doesn’t mean you need to discontinue your relationships with them. Often times these people are a part of our families, and that’s simply not possible. We CAN change our expectations about these relationships. Perhaps you do more listening to help them in their lives instead of sharing important areas of your life that you know they will not support. You are staffing up with that first list of people, so you don’t need support from this group of people who can’t offer it to you.
The funny part about this process is that when you are steadfast in driving toward your goals, getting support where you need it and thriving—some of those people who were once negative turn a corner and begin applying for roles on your team. It’s truly wild, but can happen.
Now that you’ve outlined all the critical roles for your 2017 Team, have fun with your recruiting conversations! Make sure you respect the time of your people, but also don’t fear reaching out. They want you to succeed as strongly as you do—and they will hold you accountable where you, yourself cannot. I was proud to be on the team for many of my friends who were killing their careers in 2016 and was beaming with each achievement. New non-profits created. Documentaries completed, sold and winning awards. Podcasts started. Powerful work-life balance choices. Life is much more full and fun when we’re in it together. And what a relief it is to know that we’ve got our people lined up for the not-so-fun parts.