JRR Tolkein and CS Lewis were part of a group called Inklings.
The members comprised of many famed writers of their times and they would meet once a week for decades and help each other create iconic work.
Some people say that 90% of the iconic ‘Lord of the Rings’ was written during Wednesday nights so that JRR could go and face the Inklings without much embarrassment.
If you look at the people who are winning and making moves worth noticing this is what may get ignored behind the idea of a Lone Genius or an Eccentric artist – the people they surround themselves with.
Artists, Businessmen or creative(s) – know where their magic comes from.
They work in small tribes and that is what helps them ace the game.
make them get better,
support them when they are vulnerable, and
hold them accountable for what they promise
Caution: Tribes don’t work for you, Tribes work WITH you.
Careers can fall apart from the simple fact that you decided to network more than you decided to work – and the only thing that decides your choice is the people you surround yourself with.
No matter how glamorous the idea of becoming a lone genius seems, you cannot do without them.
Here are the two sets of people you better choose well to have a life worth reflecting back and making a contribution.
Go out and claim your superpower Tribe.
You cannot afford to make all the mistakes yourself (no one can) and that’s where mentors help.
No, they are not (necessarily) your teachers, family, and even friends.
They are the ones who have been through tough times and still look at their respective lives with a sense of gratitude.
They are ones who are always learning and do have mentors themselves (if they are not alive, they are still revered and respected).
What kind of mentors should you seek?
The mentors that:
are Grounded and can help you question (almost everything).
can help you become more courageous and put your value system in place pretty early in life.
encourages you to design your own life and move ahead.
can let go of control but are still available when you are falling apart.
Are we asking for too much?
You can have multiple mentors and you can also outgrow some of them over the years.
You can also take the lessons learned while working with a mentor from one setting to another seamlessly.
The lessons you learned in your childhood can very well work into your adulthood.
This can help you learn all your life and still not feel overwhelmed.
Bill Campbell did it effortlessly all his life.
The famed Silicon Valley executive is known to have coached hundreds if not thousands of executives during his lifetime.
Most of his lessons came from his tenure as a football coach during his youth.
How do you know whether your mentor has done their job well?
You are becoming kinder, smarter, and can sleep well when tired.
It is easier for you to help and mentors others, and more importantly, give back.
You are becoming better day after day after day.
If they have prompted you to ask questions.
You had a good mentor.
Peer group smarter than you.
This is where the buck stops.
The people you surround with especially when you are vulnerable, about to take the big leap, or break the old stencil decides what happens next.
If you surround yourself with people who want to play too safe, then that’s what you become.
If you surround yourself with people who are not spending their energy on getting better, then your potential too starts to erode.
The risk is much higher than the pleasure you can derive from talking about people or chasing bodily pleasures.
How to find people much better than you?
let go of the guilty of outgrowing your friends as far as the potential is concerned,
you can still be helpful to them and be friends and not spend much time with them.
develop a sense of true appreciation for people who are doing good.
You cannot have mentors and peers if you are still jealous of them (it doesn’t work that way).
Go to the places where your kind of action is happening and cheer for those who are winning with hard work.
While doing all these, keep working on yourself.
For the peer group to become your tribe.
1. They love their craft and stays in there during the good times and the bad.
2. They work more than they network.
3. They have mentors and they don’t mind collaborating.
4. They talk about ideas and growth more than people and getting drunk.
Easier it may seem, but it is not.
To surround yourself with people smarter than you are can be a real blow on your ego
(that wants you to stay the smartest in the room and reign unchallenged).
To surround yourself with people smarter than you can make your days tough when it comes to having to accelerate your self-growth to stay there and thrive.
But once the momentum sets in, you will find that you are a different animal now – much better and much giving.
You don’t need a tribe
If you want to lead a normal-ish life and stick to the status-quo.
If people scare you because you are afraid to work on yourself.
Your Tribe exists- all you need is the courage to discover them and rise up their standards.
You may love to read:
Cleaning up your Company: 5 types of people you should not spend much time with.
There is no tribe of normal by Seth Godin