In planning your career, you’ll be faced with a key decision… who do you allow to be close enough to influence your career thinking?

I call this deciding on your Circle of Influence.

This is a profoundly strategic question. 

When you keep people outside of your circle, it means you’ve made a conscious choice not to be influenced by their attitudes, thinking, and habits. 

Conversely, when you bring specific individuals into your circle, it also means you’ve made a deliberate (and hopefully strategic) choice to be influenced by their attitudes, thinking, and habits. 

Personally, I am constantly evaluating and making adjustments to whom I allow into my circle of influence.

I do this in both the personal and professional context. 

I do so at the start of every year, and usually do a mid-year check to see if I’ve changed my mind.

I highly recommend you do the same.

Let me explain why this is worth doing and how to do it.

As human beings, we’re genetically wired to be social creatures. We all live in tribes of one kind or another.

We’re all members of a family. That’s a tribe.

We cheer for our country during the Olympics or World Cup. That’s another tribe.

We’re identified as an alum of our schools. Yet another tribe.

Most of these tribes are pre-formed. You become a member of these tribes through the course of natural life milestones — being born, being a citizen of a country, getting admitted to a particular school.

As you progress in your career, you will have the opportunity (even if you don’t realize it) to choose your circle of influence.

  • Which executives in your company do you admire, respect, and want to build closer ties to?
  • Which peers do you see as being of a like mind and going through life journeys that are parallel to yours?
  • Which people do you see as role models and mentors that you want to learn more from?

These are great questions to ask once or twice a year.

If you’ve found my emails helpful, you might consider joining my Inner Circle mentorship group.

I host regular office hours via video conference for my Inner Circle members. I write a private newsletter for members with my best career tools. I also host dinners and in-person events around the world.

In August, I’ll be hosting Inner Circle dinners in Madrid, Dubai, Taipei, and Beijing.

If you’ve found our email-based interactions beneficial, consider taking things to the next level and meet me via video conference or over dinner.

Inner Circle membership is currently closed, but will open up to new members for a few days in July. If you’d like to be notified of when I’ll be accepting new members into my group mentorship program, just complete the form below.

Please Notify Me When Victor Cheng’s Inner Circle Mentorship Program is Available

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