No man is an island entirely of itself…….

This line is a quotation from the English metaphysical poet John Donne who lived between 1572-1631. This saying what i call Old but Gold.

No one wins a war individually. It takes the wisdom of the elders, young people’s energy…..

This was from GLORY, the award winning sound track of the 2014 movie SELMA, performed by the renowned musician John Legend, and the legendary actor cum rapper, COMMON.

Every individual, professionals alike, have needs for growth, a drive to succeed. You will be hard pressed to find an individual within the business and corporate sphere who doesn’t have any growth or success target, be it personal or professional. With this, it is safe to say everyone has a target to succeed and grow, (Hopefully, you don’t know a guy who doesn’t). And if you have been around for a while, you would have noticed that you need people to achieve about anything. But who are the people you need? I knew you were going to ask, and that is exactly the theme of this article. And why is this important? As much as we need people to succeed, getting associated with the wrong people, or not having the complete set, can do more harm to one’s growth plan or success strategy.

So, for one to succeed or grow in any and almost every area, there are four types of people one needs. These four people I call the GROWTH/SUCCESS ENABLERS or you may call them SUCCESS PARTNERS, and I will use the following sections to explain them.

1. The UP Guy.
Isaac Newton said “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. If you really want to grow, you need the UP guy. Call it a MENTOR, Role Model or Coach and you wouldn’t be far from correct. Whatever name you choose is fine. But you need someone who has been there and done that, and particularly in the area you are targeting. The UP guy would point you in the right direction, would hold you accountable for every effort, every investment (time, money etc), every idea, every decision etc. Not only hold you accountable, but also provide advice and direction. The UP guy will share experience, case studies and examples with you. More than half of successful people have mentors or role models in their lives. This is true not because Lailah Gifty Atika said “Every great achiever is inspired by a great mentor”, but because I have seen the practicality of the concept. And I recommend you have one too.

2. The DOWN Guy.
For lack of a better word, I have used the “Down Guy”, but what I really mean is someone who looks up to you for something. Take for example, learning a skill or a tool, it is often said that you don’t really know it until you can teach someone the same skill or concept. While on your path to growth and success, look for someone you can inspire or teach. This is a great way to know if you are growing or not.

3. The RIGHT guy.
We all need some form of support and motivation. As a matter of fact, studies show that we perform better in any assignment if we have someone who is cheering us or praising us. This holds true in sports where the fans sing and chant praises of players on the field. It drives them to do more and more. This same concept works for professionals. The RIGHT guy is the person who always sound optimistic about every idea we come up with. They are the first to believe in us, even more than we believe in ourselves. They are always there to cheer us up in every decision and every step of the way. For an individual to grow and succeed, you need to identify the RIGHT guy for you and stay close to them.

4. The LEFT Guy.
If you don’t have someone who criticizes (what I actually mean is challenge) your every move, and every idea, then it is possible you won’t do due diligence. You need someone who always asks “but what if, but what about” in every decision and every idea we come up with. This person would help us ensure we cover all lose ends, cross all the Ts and dot all the I’s of every idea. You would have probably heard some great motivational speakers and influencers advise against staying close to, or having the LEFT guy around us, but I differ in thought and purpose. As much as you need the RIGHT guy who always believes in your ideas and decisions at the first sampling, you equally need the LEFT guy who helps to identify blind spots and possible grey arrears. This guy helps to minimize exposure to risks and failures.

So, that is it. Have you identified a short and long term target for yourself? Do you have the up, down, right and left guys for your target? Are you engaging them? If not, it’s time to get to work.

I would like to hear thoughts and ideas about these four guys, and perhaps personal experiences