It's often said that 'who you hang out with matters'. I'll be honest, I used to think this was some kind of shallow reference to befriending people for your own ends and therefore it just did not sit well with me. Indeed, I'm sure we've all been to networking events where it's felt like people just want to know your job title so they can decide whether to engage with you or not - yuk! Over the years, however I've refined my own thinking and understanding, and can reflect on the fact that I am lucky enough to be part of some amazing networks of people. These are the people who, just by 'hanging around' with them (either in person or indeed on social media) influence my thoughts, words and actions for the better. They drive my own performance upwards. These individuals (whether they intend to or not) make me aim higher, take risks, give me confidence and encourage me to say 'let's do this' as opposed to 'let's not'. Often they are people who:
- Have 'been there and done something' that I want to do.
- Role model behaviours I admire.
- Have some expertise that I need.
- Are influential by making something I think of as difficult, seem easy.