Change is hard. Change is something most of us avoid. But accepting and embracing change – learning to use it to your advantage – can be incredibly rewarding.
Our lives are filled with many points of change. The many firsts we achieve as babies. All the additional changes that follow as we grow up and mature.
The transition from high school to college seems to be one point of change that causes many to struggle. It certainly was a struggle for me.
It was easy to get distracted by things that really didn’t matter – getting caught up in the college atmosphere for example. These distractions and poor choices often led to students finding themselves in tough spots later on. For me, this tough spot was after my freshman year. It was a time where my morale was low, my sense of purpose and direction was lost, and, overall, I just wasn’t happy.
I wanted to make a change but didn’t know where to start.
Want Different Results? Do Something Different!
I began a period of reflection in the fall of 2005. A time where I immersed myself by listening to Ted Talks, reading books, attending leadership conferences, and seeking out mentors. It was during this time I came across a transformational idea – you are the average of the five closest people to you.
Bam! This was the change in thinking I needed. Now I knew exactly what to do…I found friends and mentors who had similar priorities, values, and ambitions, or who had taken similar journeys. I also found ways to challenge myself and my truths. Some of my inspiration came from Kobe Bryant. He once shared how he would sharpen his skills by playing against mates that were four or five year older than him. I also drew inspiration from ‘Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford Commencement Address.’ His wisdom about not wasting your short time here living someone else’s life hit me hard. It inspired me to lead my life even if it takes me off the well-worn path.
I came across much insight and wisdom during my journey, all of which helped me grow. Ultimately, I kept coming back to this idea of being the average of the five closest people to you…it became my new center.
I came to know of AMEND as most come to know of it – through the endlessly positive, (almost) unbelievable things my roommate, Jacob Whyle would share with me every day. He just could not shut up about the amazing work he was doing. Then, in talking to several other friends, AMEND, popped up again – still nothing but great things.
I was blown away. I had to learn more.
My first meeting was with Paul Delaney, AMEND’s Chief People Officer. Talk about refreshing! It wasn’t about my resume – it was about me – who I am, my background, values, dreams, and ambitions. He took a genuine interest in my story.
Then I talked to some of the other partners and employees and grew more impressed. They had a highly talented core team and an even more powerful network. Whether they decided to hire me or not, I knew AMEND was special. They lived out their purpose of changing lives and transforming businesses.
AMEND + The Average of 5 = A WIN FOR ME!
I looked at the AMEND team. I thought about how they are a team of A-players. Any combination of five would bring out the best in me. I had no doubt.
And I work everyday to do the same for them. I am excited to share my passion and drive with AMEND’s clients and my teammates. I hope to challenge them just as they are challenging me.
The Power of Average
Coming across the idea that you are the average of the five closest people to you has been truly transformational for me. I guess you could say, in this rare case, average has been exceptional.
Using this principle to guide my decisions, both personally and professionally, has brought overwhelmingly positive change to my life. Much of my current success and happiness is directly connected to my decision to live through this truth.
What new ideas can you bring into your life? What new truths might drive change and transformation for you? Maybe it’s the average of the five closest people. Maybe it’s trying to do something you didn’t think possible. Maybe it’s saying yes when you normally say no.
No matter what new choice the ‘power of five’ inspires, any new choice is a choice for change!