Do you want to be more intentional about who you are spending your time with but don’t know how? This doesn’t take much more than time, focus and intention.

  1. Who are the 5-10 people you currently are spending the most of your time with? Are they life giving or life sucking? Figure out how to spend more time with the life givers and how to influence the life suckers for good. Life givers don’t need much from you but you. They are honest and brave in how they talk with you about your challenges.
  1. Be intentional about what you want from your core group of people. Think about what you want from this group and review it often. If you don’t know what you are looking to get, you’ll never know if you are receiving it.

Are you looking for: accountability, growth, support, challenge, strength, focus, resources? Whatever you are looking for, make sure you are clear about it and don’t be afraid to ask your inner circle to help you achieve it.

  1. Create a list of people you want to get to know better. Don’t just create the list but identify why you want to grow closer to them. Then for each person, write down 5 things you can do to impact their lives for the positive.
  1. Go to your calendar and every 6-8 weeks put an appointment in to connect in a meaningful way with your core group of influencers. It could be lunch, coffee, a phone call or an email. I love to connect with my inner circle when I am captive in the car on long drives. I set appointments to talk during these times or simply cycle through the list of my peeps until someone answers.
  1. Connect with people from your past that made an impact on you. Write them a note and tell them what impact they made and thank them for it. Expect nothing other than to bless them. This may remind you to draw these past relationships back into your inner circle or it may just remind you of what you should be doing in other people’s lives.
  1. Create a group that is just outside of your inner core. This group may not be the one you spend the most time with but you can still be intentional about connecting with them. I have a center of influence group that I seek to meet with or talk to 3-4 times a year. It is my job to make the connections, arrange the conversation and add value when we do connect. This may not be the inner circle group but it’s just as important to stay regularly connected.
  1. Make it a contest to see who benefits the most from your relationship. When two people are in argument about who is getting the best end of a relationship, this becomes a life giving situation. Make it your goal to give more than you get.
  1. Speak life. My college buddies were great. Our times together were fun and there was lots of joking and making fun of one another. So much so that if you didn’t know we were friends you might think that we were enemies. This can be fun but it doesn’t lend itself to bring the best out in each other when you are constantly looking for the worst. You can choose your words to speak life or to speak negativity. Choose life.
  1. Ask deep and thoughtful questions, stop talking & really listen to what they have to say. Make sure you listen for meaning and really hear what they are saying.
  1. Seek feedback from your inner circle. Sometimes we neglect seeking feedback because we might not hear what we want to. It can create conflict and make us feel uncomfortable. Be willing to get out of your comfort zone and invite your inner circle to speak into your life.

Does this seem cold, calculating, or opportunistic? It certainly doesn’t have to be. You can be selective and unselfish: By filling your life with amazing people you’ll be better able to serve the world and help others live their best lives.

Lead Well, Lead Often & LEAD STRONG!