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Harvard Business Review — The Key to Career Growth: Surround Yourself with People Who Will Push You

  • September 2018

When thinking about how to develop in our careers, most of us tend to focus on promotions, projects, courses, certifications. We seek out expanded roles, more senior titles, extra money. We overlook one very key piece of the learning puzzle: proactively surrounding ourselves with people who will push us to succeed in unexpected ways and, in so doing, build genuinely rich, purposeful lives of growth, excellence, and impact.

We typically spend at least two decades in our formal education and, in developed countries, hundreds of thousands of dollars. We carefully choose our places of employment and invest significant time and effort in training within them. However, few of us engage in a deliberate, determined search for those wise individuals who, through their inspiration and advice, can literally make us new.

How can you find a similar group? The following guidelines should help:

  • Think about the people who inspire you. 

  • Don’t be afraid to chase. 

  • Aim for a mix of people inside and outside your organization. 

  • Be candid about the reason for your interest. 

  • Ask them specifically about how to get started. 

  • Proactively offer them help. 

  • Have crucial conversations in the right settings. 

  • Don’t hesitate to ask the truly big questions. 



Full Story: The Key to Career Growth: Surround Yourself with People Who Will Push You. By Claudio Fernandez-Araoz


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