As I listen to Awareness, a locally produced television program originating here in South Carolina and immediately following Meet The Press, the topic, as one would expect, is politics. The discussion, following Tim Russert's interview with Hillary Clinton on Meet The Press, centers upon local support for the three leading democratic candidates. It is always interesting to hear various positions on issues affecting our community.
On of the panelists made the statement that he felt that it was a weakness for candidates to hire advisers who were more intelligent than themselves. He felt that the candidate should be the most intelligent person on the team. Come on... how realistic is that? Is not the point of having a team of advisers to surround yourself with ultra-intelligent and highly informed individuals with various backgrounds to provide valuable insights and advice based upon their expertise? Granted, decision-making rests with the leader, in this case the candidate, but the role of adviser is a critically important one, providing insights and advice filtered through their unique expertise and experience.
It has been said that "we are a product of the five people we hang around with the most." That includes all influences, not simply personal ones. It infers that we are shaped by what we read, what we listen to, which philosophies we accept, the people who are close to us and so on. That being said, those persons we choose to surround ourselves with become our closest advisers. Although we want and need diversity, those in a position of influence around us need to share common values and beliefs, otherwise their positions may provide more confrontation than common strategy.
I believe that a person, whether he or she is a political candidate, entrepreneur or parent, demonstrates superior intelligence and wisdom by choosing influencers that are smarter and wiser than themselves. Otherwise, what would be the point? We do not need yes-men, rather people who will challenge us and help us to maximize our potential.
Choose your friends wisely and be aware of media and other inputs into your life. Subtly yet surely, those closest to us do indeed influence us. The question is; will those influencers have a positive or negative impact?