‘No man is an island’ – so the saying goes, but in today’s stress-loaded workplace, one does often feel alone and isolated. Human beings thrive on contact and relationships, and it’s important to forge bonds that are mutually productive. The company we keep defines our personality and it often defines and shapes our life too. These three most important relationships can be the key to a more successful career for you.
1. The Mentor. We all need to learn from someone who is older, more experienced, and more successful than us. They say smart people learn from the mistakes of others. So if you’re lucky enough to find someone who’s willing to impart wisdom, pay heed instead of brushing it off arrogantly. You may learn some important lessons just like Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer did from Google Co-founder Larry Page.
2. The Peer. Any career-oriented young person must interact with peers, exchanging ideas and discussing possibilities. A network of driven peers provide inspiration and healthy competition. It may even lead to productive partnerships – and history proves it: In 1837, two brothers-in-law William Procter and James Gamble decided to combine forces and form a company called Procter & Gamble. Likewise two friends, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, joined hands in what would go on to become HP. And of course, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs got together to start Apple Inc.
3. The Apprentice. Well, you may not be in the league of Donald Trump but interacting with the novice in the office may actually do you a lot of good. It exposes you to new ideas and novel ways of seeking solutions. You need to challenge yourself constantly in order to remain relevant; that’s why Aristotle loved the company of his pupil Alexander — the younger man was always throwing questions at the older, and questioning keeps your knowledge from becoming jaded. Then when Alexander became ‘the Great’, much of the credit went to Aristotle.