Just as entrepreneurs are always recruiting and building a team of stunning people, you want to always be investing in your professional network to grow the start-up that is your career. Quite simply, if you want to accelerate your career, you need the help and support of others. Of course, unlike company founders, you aren’t hiring a fleet of employees who report to you, nor do you report to a board of directors. What you are doing-what you should be doing-is establishing a diverse team of allies and advisers with whom you grow over time.
Relationships matter because the people you spend time with shape who you are and who you become. Behavior and beliefs are contagious: you easily “catch” the emotional state of your friends, imitate their actions, and absorb their values as your own. If your friends are the types of people who get stuff done, chances are you’ll be that way, too. The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.