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Who’s in your inner circle?

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The people around you shape your own potential, so choose them wisely. Ask these questions:

1. Do they always show good character? Lack of integrity will bring catastrophe down on you all. Don’t mess with amoral characters.

2. Do they have influence? Each advisor should have far-reaching ties within the organization, the industry and the outside world.

3. Are they too much like you? It’s way too easy to hang out with like-minded people. Soliciting praise instead of candor, and driving away critics, will diminish your stature. If your inner circle looks like you, talks like you and shares your belief system, you’re living in an illusion.

4. Will they provide expertise, skills and wisdom? Consider what they’ll contribute to the discussion, what they’ll create over the long haul and how they could fix things.

5. Are they peacemakers? Even a smidgeon of personal animosity could wreck the team. Set aside anyone with an ax to grind.

— Adapted from “A Leader’s Inner Circle,” John C. Maxwell, www.giantimpact.com.

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