We are the sum of the 5 people we spend time with.  The company we keep, as women leaders, can help to anchor in a new belief system.

Here is a list of the 5 people we, as women leaders, should surround ourselves with

1. Take a hard look at friends and family

I remember my mother making a comment to me when I had gotten promoted (in a very short period of time) again at Macy’s and then had the privilege of buying a house that was 2x’s as big as hers. Instead of supporting my positive ambitions her comment was “Who do you think you are?”

I will never forget the cut of that statement (especially from a mother). Nevertheless, I knew then and there that she was not a fan of my ambitions and achievements. BUT that I had a cheerleader within my family that would take on the role of supporting me.

2. Critics

These are the people who are always finding ways to disrupt your confidence by telling you that your vision is wrong. They are quick to inform you that your knowledge of the marketplace is not realistic. But we need them!According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, novices have a preference for positive feedback, but experts want negative feedback, so that they can make progress. Without them, you’d never sharpen your skills or develop tough skin.

Let’s take the story of Michelle Obama:
a. Her high school guidance counselor said that she should look for other alternatives to her first choice, which was Princeton. Instead of listening to her, she said “I will not let anyone dictate the ambitions I want in my life.” After only hearing this 2 months ago, it has now become a strong belief for me. A belief that changes the trajectory of who I listen to and who I absolutely do not. And I can use her quote for other young ambitious women.

3. Coaches

If you’re surrounding yourself with people who never ask you tough, thought-provoking questions, you’ll never be living up to your full potential to conceptualize those answers.

4 People you admire or role models

Hanging with someone you want to be like will make you more like them, and you’re going to start realizing value in yourself where you may not have seen it before once you get more of them in your life.

5. Mentors

This is someone with qualities you hold in high regard who’s willing to discuss them and help you develop those qualities on your own

6 Peers with positive habits

Taking stock in the value that people add or remove from your life means you will draw someone to you who does the same, and the cycle of self-improvement and general awesomeness perpetuates itself.

Drink Like a Lady with Kathie De-Chirico Stuart & Joya Dass
Kathie is a brand strategist. Joya is a recovering journalist. Each week, on the Drink LIke a Lady Podcast, they share tactical advice to support women getting a seat at the bar —and the boardroom.

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