Friday, January 27, 2012

Our Go-To Guys (or Women)

I was watching TV last night, and on came a commercial starring Charles Barkley – he is now the spokesperson of Weight Watchers.  (This may be the greatest spokesperson-company arrangement of all time.) 

And seeing him got me thinking about those commercials for T-Mobile that he used to do with Dwayne Wade. The ones about T-Mobile’s “Fave five.” 

Since I used to have that plan on my cell phone, I would always think about how interesting that concept is – the idea that we should have a circle of people who are our “go-to guys.”  I was to have a group of five people who I would expect to call, to text, to engage with more than anyone else on my contact list.

These were to be my “Favorite Five.”

So I started thinking about this same concept and how it can apply to the rest of our lives. Lots of us think of this concept socially - but I think that the concept can and should go further than that.  

While it is great to have friends that are your go-to group, have you thought about who your go-to guys outside of friends and family might be? 

What mentors, professors, or professionals are in your life?  Who will you have no problem calling for help when the time comes? 

It probably isn't as easy of a question to answer as what five friends would you put in your phone - it certainly wasn't for me when I first started college.  

And that is because it takes work to develop those relationships, it is really at the heart of my book, but I think it is undoubtedly worth it.  And it isn’t a process that starts and then stops – it is certainly ongoing

So let’s make that a goal for all of us this year. We can get started on it right here, right now.  

First, let's make a list of those adults in your life that can offer some sort of professional or academic advice, and highlight those on that list that you wish you could learn more from. 

Next, make it a goal for yourself to cultivate those relationships as the calendar year goes forward. 

Time is on your side – these are projects, and relationships are fluid – they develop, not always instantaneously. 

But the work is worth it – like I wrote in this piece on coaches – you need older adults on your side. 

Because the more people who see that amazing potential you have, the better. 

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