EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE SUPPORTERS.  SupporterHumans are social beings, and we have a fundamental need to be encouraged, even to look good in front of others.

In business this can be particularly difficult.  A company is a bit of a faceless entity, so people aren’t as accustomed to stating things in a polite way like they would to someone’s face.

Quite likely, you’re awash in a sea of criticism.

OK, so your employees don’t necessarily do that.  They have something at stake should they make a bad impression with you.  But that means that they won’t challenge you when you need it, either.

This is where external relationships can be useful: via a mastermind group, mentor relationship, or even a business coach.  What makes these so valuable?

First, they’re going to take your goals as seriously as you do.  Even when the rest of the world is telling you that putting 50% of your profits into improving the world is absolute craziness, your supporter says, “Let’s figure out how to make that happen!”

A great supporter will challenge you, but not to tear you down.  His or her focus is on challenging you to be a better person of yourself, and the business as well.

I often find that part of my coaching role is to champion my client’s goals even when they are losing faith.  I’ll say something like, “Remember that you yourself told me that this was your top priority and you wanted to dedicate your business to achieving this in 2015.”  I reconnect my client with that original vision.

When you look for people to help you achieve your business goals, test that they’ll have the right balance of encouragement versus challenging.  And that they challenge you to improve, to help the business succeed.

Because you’re out to change the world, right?