The Circle of Five


Most people don’t realize this, but we are the average of the 5 people we associate with the most. This is often referred to as our unique circle of influence; they shape many of our attitudes values and have a great impact on our ability to achieve our goals.

This topic recently came up in a change management workshop I was conducting. A participant asked the question, “what impact on what we do outside of work have on our work lives?” The answer is, a great deal, and it really comes down to the power (positive and negative) of the people we associate with the most.

To make sure the people you associate with the most are having a positive impact on you and your role in your organization, ask yourself these questions:


1) Are you the smartest person in your group of five? If you answered no, that’s great because you never want to be the smartest person in your group of five

2) Does your circle of influence hold similar values, aspirations and positive lifestyle habits? If your answer is yes, great again, you want to ensure this group really supports you and lives by positive lifestyle values.

3) Does this group challenge you to grow and develop in a positive way? If you answer yes, you just earned yourself another point. You always want to ensure you are growing and developing professionally, and having people around you that will help you stay out of your comfort zone.

4) Does this circle believe in continuous learning and professional development? Answer yes, then you just received another point. Similar to above, a commitment to lifelong learning is essential in our modern day world. Gone are the days of just finishing your “learning” when you graduated university. Having and retaining a learner’s mind set is a must.

5) Does you circle of influence “view” “problems” as just a situation in need of a solution? If you answered yes, great. You never want to be surrounded by people who get overwhelmed easily, and start to think “what if?” Always ensure your circle of five remains calm and maintains a positive perspective during challenging situations.


If you scored 3 or 4, you might need to make a few adjustments to your circle of five. If you scored below a 3, it’s time to overhaul your circle, and if you scored a five, great you are in a strong circle of influence that will support your growth towards achieving your goals.

All the best in achieving your highest performance,


Image courtesy of Ambro at