Sunday, January 3, 2010

Think of your empowerment circle like the group that you need to accomplish any goals. Just think no one has ever been successful without a strong team--Ronald Reagan had his "California Kitchen Cabinet," Barack Obama had his Chicago Crew and Vanity Fair wrote about Hillary Clinton's team well before she made her bid for office. These teams provide not only moral support, but they provide the expertise and insight you need. For some, its comfortable to rely solely only those friends you have the most in common with, those you enjoy going to the movie with, shopping, eating out, etc. But members of an empowerment circle aren't usually those close friends. For example, if your goal in the new year is to open a small business or to change careers, although your closest friend may support your efforts, you need to ask yourself do they have any knowledge or expertise that will be helpful to you in opening a business--are they business owners? do they know anything about marketing, accounting or human resources? do they know bankers or lenders who provide small business loans? If the answers to these questions are NO--then they may be good friends but they are not ideal candidates for your empowerment circle. You need to go outside of your comfort zone and handpick individuals who have the expertise that can help you. And remember this is a circle--so its not a one way street. You will invite key people into your circle and everyone in the circle needs to be able to offer everyone else something so that its a reciprocal process of give and take. To get started, write down your goals. Then write next to each goal the type of information and assistance you need. Next write the names or even the titles of the persons you think can best help you. Finally, make the ask. Invite these key people into your circle and watch how much more you will accomplish.

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