Jim RohnMotivational speaker Jim Rohn offered these wise words many years ago:

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

I’m convinced that it’s absolutely true.  When I work with people who are on fire, they ignite me as well.  When I’m with folks who are depressed, my own mood goes downhill.  Quickly.

So what do we learn from this sage advice?

  • If you want success, connect with the people whose success you want to emulate.
  • If you want to be more thoughtful, learn from those who are thoughtful themselves.
  • If you want to grow in creativity, develop relationships with creative people.

And, of course, if you hang out with people who are unmotivated, expect that they’ll not be very excited when you try to stand out from the pack.

We’re social beings.  This is how it works.

So what should you do when you have to work with people who aren’t great role models for you?  Well, the primary answer is to use your PERSONAL time to counteract that problem.  Even an hour a week with a mastermind group or wise mentor or coach can be deeply transformational.

Then, look to shift your work situation long term.  Perhaps this will propel you toward a different industry and different career.  Or a different employer.

And if YOU are the boss yourself, don’t be so darned egotistical that you’re afraid to hire people who are smarter than you are.  It’ll benefit you and everyone else.