6 People Successful Professionals Have in Their Network

My phone rang 2 minutes after publishing the article. I was terrified to pick it up, because I just wasn’t sure I should have written it in the first place. As I picked up the phone, my feelings were quickly relieved when the voice on the other end of the phone said, “John, you don’t know me but thank you for writing what needed to be written, it took a lot of courage.” What followed was a 45 minute conversation that I will never forget and an ongoing friendship that has changed my life forever.

The woman who walked into my life that day, has become my Booster. Almost every time we exchange emails or talk on the phone, I can’t help but think of the famous quote from Jay Abraham:

“No one ever succeeds without the help of others”

Every successful leader I have interviewed on the Follow My Lead Podcast, including this weeks amazing conversation with Perry Tuttle, consistently confirms these leaders didn’t get where they are today without certain types of people in their lives.

There are six types of people every leader must have in his or her life to have a chance of achieving success.

1. Booster

The booster’s main purpose is to encourage you when your journey takes an unexpected detour. I wouldn’t start a business, change jobs, or take the next promotion until you find someone who will encourage you, regardless of the circumstances.

Boosters tend to be spouses, significant others, a close relatives, or an older friend. As hard as is it to build a business, you need as many boosters as you can get in your life. I am fortunate to have a few boosters in my life including the special woman who called me out of the blue.

2. Juror

A juror in a courtroom passes judgment on a particular case in question after they have all the details. Same idea here. The juror gives you candid feedback about how you are doing, not only in business but also in life.

On a recent episode of the Follow My Lead podcast, Bob Beaudine called this role a “personal board of directors.” So whether you have an actual board of directors or not, it’s important you have at least a few jurors in your personal network.

3. Adviser

The adviser is the person whom you can call or text in moments of need, as when you’re making a big organizational decision, career transition or a personal decision.

Often times, they have business experience in and around your field. They make time for you and always give you advice.

Sometimes their advice isn’t what you want to hear because it counters what you are thinking and that’s exactly why they are so important. Keep in mind, their intention is to help you, your business, or your career be successful–that’s it.

4. Partner

The partner is the yin to your yang. These people tend to have complementary skills to fill in your weaknesses. They are primarily thought of in terms of entrepreneurship but it can go beyond being a co-founder. The partner is usually an internal person who knows you and the company like the back of his or her hand.

Because of this, working with partners can be difficult at times, but ultimately the business or team wouldn’t survive without them.

5. Collaborator

Every single leader must have someone who can listen to ideas and quickly pass some kind of judgment. That is the collaborator by definition: someone who will help you explore new business ideas, products, campaigns, or anything in between.

The best collaborators have great imaginations and ideation is reciprocal.

6. Incentivizer

The incentivizer is someone who has doubted you, told you you couldn’t do it, or mentioned you weren’t good enough. This person’s words or actions have been burned into your mind and keep you motivated and moving forward to prove him or her wrong. The most important thing the incentivizer did for you was incite action.

If you can quickly identify all six of these people in your life, then you have built a network to help you succeed as leader and professional. If you see gaps, the best part is: You can take action today.

A version of this article originally appeared on Inc.com.

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About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft and host of the Follow My Lead Podcast. He is also the author of F.M.L. Standing Out & Being a Leader, a contributing editor on Inc.com, and is passionate about the development of modern professionals. You follow him on instagram @johngeades.

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