Catalyzing growth takes work. We hear plenty about the importance of developing the right habits to generate improvement in life and business. Often, great emphasis is placed on following certain training philosophies or self-improvement strategies, while the relationships which facilitate high performance habits get much less attention. Ultimately, both are important, but establishing relationships that provide the impetus for meaningful change could be the missing link for those seeking to improve.
Dr. John Townsend, New York Times best-selling author and nationally recognized leadership coach and psychologist, coined the idea of a Life Team. In his latest book, People Fuel, Dr. Townsend discusses the value of creating a team of three to eight people in your life who push you towards improvement in key areas. Ideally, these relationships are outside of your workplace environment. This inner circle of people in your life should share similar values with you and be willing to be vulnerable.
Why is it so important to pay attention to the people we allow closest to us? One reason is that we tend to mimic the traits, ideas, and expectations of those we are most vulnerable with. Accordingly, choosing your life team should be accompanied by reflection on your goals and observation of other’s character.

Life Team members can stimulate growth in a variety of areas including:
– Community Outreach – Marriage
– Emotional Health – Parenting
– Finance – Business
– Communication – Goal Setting
– Teamwork

Life Team members help you grow in whatever areas you feel are of greatest importance to maximizing your abilities in life and work. They may provide value in areas such as finance, leadership, and fitness. Other possible areas include marriage, parenting, and spiritual growth.
Creating a Life Team likely will take some time. Do not be surprised if it takes 6 months to a year to develop these relationships. Consider relationships with natural chemistry and a willingness to engage in mutual personal growth. These relationships may come through organic connections, but it may very well require a financial investment to hire a coach in one of the aforementioned categories.
A balanced community will likely have a mix of people you invest in, those with whom you consider peers, and those you look up to for guidance. Take inventory of your community and consider who you might pursue as a member of your Life Team. Think about the areas you need the most support in to be a healthier version of yourself. Then, brick by brick, begin to create an intentional community which supports personal development and relational connectivity.