I spend a lot of time reading quotes. I look them up – if not daily, then at least weekly. I read quotes that are intelligent, quotes that inspire, quotes that make no sense, quotes that make me laugh and quotes that are so deep that it takes me days to understand them – or sometimes, I never understand them at all.
Earlier today, I looked up quotes about surrounding yourself. Why? Because I started thinking about the people in my office who surround me – how we surround each other and co-habitate for at least eight hours a day, sometimes and often more. We put forth valiant effort to make ourselves better humans, lift up the people around us, practice our skill, and ultimately, energize – the community around us, the companions next to us and the customers we get to tell stories about every day.
Here are a few I found that remind me of the way our team surrounds themselves each day:
Queen Latifah’s take: Look at people for an example, but then make sure to do things your way. Surround yourself with positive people.
Tony Vincent’s version: Surround yourself with people you can always learn something from. Always work with people that are better at their craft than you are.
Words from the wise Coach Wooden: Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.
Colin Powell’s tip: Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.
I looked around our offices and thought – this is what we do – a good combination of what’s above encompasses our surroundings. We challenge each other, set examples for each other, teach and coach each other, learn from one another, work hard, live energetically and play hard. It’s not always easy, but who said it would be? We work as individual units to be better at who we are and what we do personally, but we come together to create something that is better together. We are aware of our surroundings. We know we’re not all the same and we won’t always see eye to eye, but we keep moving forward.
I looked around and saw one of my team members studying flash cards that she had made for herself to better learn media affiliates in our city and region. I saw another team member contacting companies to provide food for kids for an upcoming camp. Another one was developing a press release to share a story about a startup who has worked long and hard to make their dreams come to life. I spoke with another on the phone who was out selling and sharing the power of storytelling with individuals across the map. Another one was writing birthday and anniversary cards to send happiness in the form of a card and an envelope. One was designing flyers, cutting up video and crafting messages in a unique and new way that we had never used before. And the last of them was putting together her very first text message campaign for launch.
We worked today individually – but for something way bigger than ourselves. When anyone asked for a recommendation, contact, support or devil’s advocate, at least one of the others was there to provide the assist, much like Manu and Bobo did in the NBA Finals just a week or so ago.
I saw what it means to surround yourself with others who will do what those four strong-minded people mentioned above in their quotable quotes.
I read those quotes with such frequency, because I realize that when I think about them – any of them have the ability to impact, and I have the opportunity to watch them play out every day. Take those quotes for whatever you see them as, but for me – it’s happiness in motion, learning in progress and greatness in action.