I recently read, “A person becomes the average of the five people closest to him.”

The statement caused me to stop and take inventory with regard to my friendships. Perhaps you should do the same?  Studies show that we spend like our friends spend, weigh what our friends weigh, live in houses like our friends houses, send our kids to the same schools … the list goes on and on.

I know for me personally, the books I read, the places I hang out, where I eat, and even my level of fitness is affected by those closest to me.

When you stop and think about it, the value of friendship is a lot like bowling. Have you been bowling recently? If so, perhaps you noticed that some people choose the option of bowling with bumpers in their gutters. The bumpers are designed to keep the ball on track and make the game more enjoyable for little kids. Occasionally, adults who are bad bowlers will even volunteer to bowl with the tikes just so they too can be protected by the bumpers. I’m not naming any names.

Don’t you wish they offered bumpers on the other areas of your life? Actually, they do. They’re called friends, and they determine the direction of your life. If you are surrounded by friends who have integrity, you are much more likely to stay on track yourself. If you isolate yourself and go it alone, chances are you will find yourself continually in the gutter.

As a leader, you may be tempted to think, “It’s lonely at the top.” But let me remind you that loneliness is a choice. To quote my mom: “If you want to have a friend, be a friend.” I would take it a step further by saying, choose friends who have integrity. Stupidity is a choice too.

You weren’t designed to go it alone. Find yourself some friends to be your bumpers who will keep you on track. Your integrity and influence are on the line!

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

Why do you think so many leaders isolate themselves relationally?

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Author: Randy

Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.