Leadership is a lifelong journey. On your journey as a leader, you are bound to come up against obstacles and face dangers. What sets a leader apart from everyone else is how he or she handles the obstacles that come up in their path.
One of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned in life is the importance of never running alone. I am not talking about physical running but rather running the race of life. There is nothing that is quite as powerful as having close friends or “running mates” in your life that you can trust and talk to about absolutely anything.
There are three types of running mates you should have in your leadership journey to ensure success:
- The Forerunner: Seeking out the wisdom and insight of those that run before you is a crucial to your success on your journey of life. You may think you know how to navigate some of the more difficult terrain, but consulting someone that has seen the path ahead will lend heaps of wisdom and warnings that otherwise could be missed if you relied on your own intuition to navigate the trails.
- The Co-runner: You cannot run alone. No one can. We were designed to be people that have relationships. We are created to invest in others. There is no better way to run a race than with someone by your side that is experiencing the same hurdles and overcoming the same obstacles. This person is your companion, your cheerleader and your closest friend. They may not be able to warn you about the future, but they will experience the present with you and hold your hand the entire way.
- The Up & Comer: The best way to solidify your own belief system is to pass on your experiences to others. As you share your stories you will realize that your stories become nuggets of wisdom for those that are further behind in their journeys. While sharing, you will be able to talk through some of the challenges you have faced and as you reflect the big picture of the journey you have run will start falling into place.
These three people are so pivotal to a successful leadership journey and living a profitable life in the long run. The process can also be summed up in the simple words, “Learn, Do, Teach.” It is how we are wired. Having running mates on your journey will make the adventure so much more rewarding and in the end you will ultimately be more successful and profitable for realizing that there is in fact, strength in numbers.