The Value of Close and Healthy Connections
Who’s in Your Inner Circle?
I think the book that has had the most influence on me as a leader is John C. Maxwell’s book, “The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader’s Day.”
I bought this book many years ago, and I re-read it at least once a year. One of my favorite sections is the chapter called “The Law of the Inner Circle.” In this chapter, Maxwell is pointing out the importance of surrounding yourself with great people. Maxwell says:
“There are no Lone Ranger leaders. If you’re alone, you’re not leading anybody, are you? You see, every leader’s potential is determined by the people closest to him. If those people are strong, then the leader can make a huge impact. If they are weak, he can’t.”
Maxwell continues to give you a list of the types of people you should surround yourself with for continuous growth. The value of close, healthy connections is so important that I decided to share my list.
Surround Yourself with 15 Types of People
1. INTERCESSOR– Someone who prays for you. My intercessor is my PaPa, my mom’s dad. I remember back in college that PaPa would send me letters and tell me how many times he had prayed for me each day.
2. LISTENER – A person you confide in, vent to, and bounce ideas off of for feedback. I have several people that fill this role including my sister Jessica and a small close group of friends.
3. ENCOURAGER– People who inspire you with courage. My encouragers are my dad and my husband.
4. CREATOR – Creative people stretch your mind, challenge your direction, increase your vision, and multiply your gifts. My creators are my team at 4Sight and my friend Stephen Brewster.
5. DISCERNER – These are people who see what you can’t see. In my personal life by discerner is my husband and in my professional life, my discerner is my mastermind group.
6. GIVER – This is someone who loves you unconditionally. My niece and nephew are amazing in this role.
7. DEFENDER – The person who steps in when weariness keeps you from fighting back. My husband is my greatest defender.
8. IMPLEMENTER – These are people you can trust to get things done — Jessica and Marisa on the 4Sight team.
9. CELEBRATOR – A person who knows how to throw a party. Alli Worthington as an Enneagram 7 brings the party to my life.
10. RESOURCER – These people help you gather information. I don’t have one specific person for this role. Different people serve in this role depending on the need.
11. SPONSOR – Someone in your life who will believe in you and who will use his influence to help you along. I’ve had different sponsors in different seasons. Currently, friends like Carey Nieuwhof fill this role.
12. THINKER– The people who are talented at solving problems – All of The 4Sight team bring this gift.
13. NETWORKER – These people know people. My friend Lindsey Nobles is brilliant at this.
14. MENTOR – Others who are ahead of you and help you along the way. Much like sponsors, I’ve had different mentors at different times throughout my life.
15. PROTEGE– Find the right person and pour your life into theirs. Throughout the years, I’ve had the privilege of “pouring into” the lives of some amazing young leaders. I want to continue to be intentional in this.
I encourage you to take some time and create your list. Which of these roles do you fill in other people’s lives and who fills these roles in yours?
If your list comes up a little short, consider a change. Meet new people, nurture an existing relationship, or join a peer-related environment. You can find a local or virtual community group, join a mastermind group, or make time for a conference or leadership event.
Don’t be a “Lone Ranger Leader.” Surround yourself with great people and experience “The Law of the Inner Circle.”
Keep leading well.
Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group
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Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.
Jenni is the author of several books including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.