Grow Someone Past You


“You can tell who the strong people are. They are the ones building one another up rather than tearing them down.”

Recently, I was hiking with a friend. By every measurable standard, he would be considered successful in business. Over the few years that I have known him, he has received numerous job promotions—each with increased responsibility, opportunity, and title. Sometimes I get the feeling that his company can’t promote him fast enough.

While we were walking, I began asking him about his philosophy at work. I know he successfully leads a number of teams in his organization. And I asked him what his secret was for hiring great people and building effective teams.

He said, “My formula is simple: I try to hire people I can mentor into job promotions off my team.”

His response surprised me. But then he continued, “I know that I will always be able to hire the best people for my teams if I offer personal growth and professional advancement. And I’d much rather have highly capable people on my team for a few years than substandard performers who never leave.”

He offered me great advice that day. Not just in business, but in life.

I have another friend. His name is Jeff Slobotski. And if you don’t know his name, he’s probably okay with that—even though you should. Jeff is one of the most influential entrepreneurs in the Midwest equipping start-ups to succeed.

Jeff is easily one of the greatest “connectors” I have ever known. He lives his life helping others grow by introducing them to people who can help.

I improve his life very little—other than a few influential blog posts and personal conversation over coffee every time I visit Omaha, I’m not exactly sure what I offer. But he has done so much for me I can hardly thank him enough.

He has taken the time to connect me with people who have changed my life in significant ways—both personally and professionally. Almost every day I benefit from the investment he has made into me. I am better at what I do because he has taken the time to help me grow.

Often times, there is a natural tendency within us to see the world as a competition with a set number of winners and losers. In this scenario, if somebody else succeeds, there is one less opportunity for me. We divide the world into winners and losers. And we do our best to make sure we are in the first group.

But I have come to realize the mindset of competition is based on a faulty premise. It assumes that success in another’s life equals one less opportunity for me. But quite frankly, this thinking is incorrect.

In fact, the opposite is true. Our greatest successes in life are often experienced when we choose to help others succeed.

Our most lasting and fulfilling achievements are earned by helping others fulfill theirs. (tweet that)

Grow yourself by investing into someone else’s life today. You may be surprised to discover you both come out on top.

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