𝗧𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗪𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗣𝘂𝘀𝗵 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗙𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿
Updated: Oct 15, 2022
Hopefully, you have people in life who support you no matter what, who understand your background, struggles, and intentions. They fortify resilience through unconditional love.
However, to grow in your role, you also need people who challenge you to do better and to consider new options.
Adam Grant, who coined the term Challenger, describes it as follows:
“Somebody who pushes you because they believe in you. They are not willing to settle for something that is not your absolute best work.”
Thomas Waschenfelder puts it this way:
“Surround yourself with people who make you believe you're capable of far more than you think you are. This alone can change your life.”
Build a Challenge Network
Form a group of people who can give you candid and constructive advice and feedback. Essentially, you want people who will introduce you to new ideas and who will tell you what you need to hear, even if that insight is not necessarily what you want to hear.
For your Challenge Network, seek people with professional competency and clear communication over personal appeal. You may choose role models in your position, your industry, and/or your desired strategic market. Ideally, create a group with diverse backgrounds to get a broad range of ideas. Insist on people who are sincere, open, and aligned with your growth. They must not hesitate to tell you when and how you are wrong.
In your selection, consider complementing personalities as well: introvert/extrovert, expert/generalist, builder/communicator, and strategic thinker/tactical thinker.
When and How to Ask for Help
It's normal to want help only when you feel on top of things. An advisor has likely been in your position and will want to help the real you, not the person you may be tempted to project. If you are seeking advice on past efforts, ask what went well and what could improve. If that doesn’t generate a conversation, ask how the advisor has seen other founders address similar issues.
If you are looking for future direction, prepare to describe the desired outcome, background, current considerations, and options—including the pros and cons of each. Coming prepared shows you are invested in the relationship rather than asking them to do all the work.
Key Takeaway: To effectively develop as a leader and to exponentially grow your business, build a challenge network that pushes you to great heights.