Other Known Associates.
In the world of law enforcement, criminals are often tracked down by listing “Known Associates” or “KAs” Essentially, the officers determine the whereabouts, motivations, and likelihood of action through association.
They are looking for the ‘internal state’ of a suspect, based on the external interpersonal connections the suspect makes.
If the police were to look around your life, look into your “Other Known Associates,” what would they discover about your internal state?
In researching Mastermind Groups for last year’s Sunflower Mastermind, I found the near-origin, certainly the modern popularization, of the Mastermind concept in the work of Napoleon Hill, specifically in his book, “Think & Grow Rich.”
In a business setting, Hill indicates, that Masterminds are groups of motivated business people who meet regularly to not only discuss but strategically work through business challenges in a focused format.
Masterminds strive specifically to ensure that some of your Other Known Associates are driven, supportive people. Your internal state is energized, motivated by association with
There’s more. Alcoholics Anonymous is specifically designed to keep people who want to battle their addiction around other people who are striving towards the same goal.
Churches organize Bible study groups and Sunday School classes around people in the same phase of life often described as ‘doing life together.’
The Dark Side of Known Associates. I led with the criminal justice example for a reason. We’ve all had an instance in our own lives, often now in our kids’ lives, with the ‘wrong crowd.’ I know my wife and I purposefully ‘minimized availability’ when a trouble-making influence entered one of our kid’s circle. We worked to minimize contact between our child and the source of trouble.
Why? Because contact equals influence; good or bad. Think through these scenarios:
- Bill is a nice enough guy. He comes to work, clocks in, chats everyone up and eventually gets to work. Throughout the day, he mentions the tool he doesn’t have, how things suck at home, how he knows he’ll get a ‘real job’ someday, that he can’t believe the guests fall for these prices…
- You get another call from your mom, third one today. She’s on again about how your husband didn’t get you a splashy ring this Christmas, and what does that mean…
- You Aunt phones you out of the blue. She was just thinking of you and how you have really adapted well to the new job. She’s so proud of you and offers a few local connections from her Rolodex. She knows everyone!
- Jen comes over for the party and, just like last time, she’s three sheets to the wind and knocking over lamps by 9:15 PM. She’ll probably pass out and sleep on your couch again…
- At the young growers meeting, Pat is presenting again, and you can’t wait. She launches into the new pruning method and shares everything about it and how it cut pruning time by 20%. She is , and you leave feeling energized to try it out the next day…
Note that the scenarios contain characters who power you up and some who suck your energy. This energy flow that builds you up or wears you down happens daily, and it is caused most often by the people closest to you. Do you want Bill in contact with your other employees? Wouldn’t you talk to your Aunt all day? Is Jen living her best life passed out on your couch every weekend? Don’t you just want to ‘bottle Pat up’ and take that feeling home?
Who are your Other Known Associates?
Are you surrounded by people filled with positive energy?
Do you struggle to keep your spirit from drowning?
Are you an energy vampire?
Would your circle count you as a supporter, a builder?
It’s a misnomer that positive people need to be gregarious extroverts (Like me!). I’m reading the book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” (Not because I am one, but because I married one!)
My wife, the lovely Miss Janine, is one of the strongest supporters and most powerful encouragers in the world, yet she never seeks the spotlight. You need not be loud to be an effective, positive force for good in the lives of those around you.
This week, the challenge is two-fold.
- Take an honest look at, and write down a list of, the 5-10 people with whom you spend the most time currently, and see if they are “Associates by whom you’d like to be known.”
- Take a look inside yourself as you interact with those people and assess yourself. Would they keep you if they made a list in part one?
You may be able to control who has access to you entirely and for how much time, but you may not. If you have some people on your list you’d like to separate from your inner circle, practice a little ‘minimized availability.’
Take active control of your “Other Known Associates,” and you’ll see subtle improvements in your internal state. Those improvements to your internal state energize you and you become the kind of associate by which people like to be known.
Have a great week,
PS If you are looking for more positive, driven people in your business life, then next Monday, you can learn more about Mastermind Groups available to help you achieve your business goals. For now, take our two-fold challenge above!