Comfortable or Courageous… What Do You Need Around You?

As a parent, I’ve always been interested in who my kids hang out with. Now, as a leader, I find it very interesting to observe who leaders surround themselves with. I’ve found that there are two distinct types of characteristics that we choose to have in our circle of influence.

  • People who make us comfortable.
  • People who make us courageous.

Where you are in life and your quest in what you want to accomplish will determine which of these characteristics you have in your circle of influence. Let me explain.

Comfortable circle

These people make you feel comfortable because they won’t challenge your leadership or your character. Leaders feel safe with this person. They are like a trusted companion. They are along for the ride and you want them by your side because their presence gives you comfort.

Comfortable relationships in business typically happen after achieving a level of success. The team that got you to one level many times is not the same team that can get you to the next level. However, because the leader and teammates are comfortable with each other the same level of success plateaus, fewer risks are taken and complacency settles in. Comfortable and complacency are best friends.

Courageous circle

These people make us courageous because they bring new ideas and new talents to the circle. At first this is a bit awkward because we’re forced to look at things differently. We look beyond what has always worked into a new blue ocean of possibility. If we prefer comfortable… then these people will make us nervous because they will push and lead up in a way that drives us out of our comfortable box. However, our desire to be courageous and move forward is due to a high level of trust in these people’s talents and character.

Another reason this type of person makes us courageous is because if, as the leader, we don’t strive to do bigger and better things, we’ll lose their talent. They will go find a courageous leader. You see, they’re not motivated to be on a ride; they are motivated to help drive the ride.

If you’ve led a team long then you know exactly what I’m talking about. We’ve all made unconscious decisions to be comfortable. Funny thing about those who make us courageous… overtime it’s the most comfortable state to be in because we learn to thrive off the risks and wild rewards those people bring to our circle. So being courageous becomes a comfortable place to be.

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