Benchmark way above our heads

Written on: April 4, 2018

In: leadership by Elisa Coleclough

The world mirrors us and we mirror the world.

I am sure that you are familiar with the phrase:


“Birds of a feather flock together”


When we look around us the places, the people, work, habits, etc. are a mirror to our own fears, hopes, self-image, beliefs, and so on. We reflect in the world outside what is inside of us indeed.


But that is not what I want to talk today, I want to talk about “benchmarking” ourselves to grow purposefully. As you may be aware we are all the time being marked and graded against others, physically, at work, in our social status, etc. I am not 100% in agreement with comparing myself to anyone, as I believe it destroys more that it gives me back, however, it good to be around people that are far better than ourselves. People who are way above ourselves in different senses. Why? Because we model everything that is around ourselves.


The world mirrors us and we mirror the world.


It is important to increase awareness in our environment as it defines us and we define it as well. So do people around us. We need to learn to “benchmark” with the right people to learn from them.


“Personal development is the belief that you are worth the effort, time and energy needed to develop yourself” – Denis Waitley



Living intentionally is about making the choices to be in the places and with the people that brings growth into our life moreover it dictates the way we think and how we view the world.


As you may have already read in other blogs, I was a very good student, the “A” type student. I was used to be the smart lass in the classroom. Actually, I was pretty comfortable and felt I was in command. The problem comes when I realized that being the smartest person in the room was not helping me at all. As a matter of fact, it was hurting me. It meant only one thing: I was in the wrong classroom.


We all need to be challenged, we need to surround ourselves with those are that way above our heads to keep ourselves challenged, growing, learning. Once we have reached them and matched them, we need to move and find new people to learn from. Not only is it helpful, it should be necessary. Because it means we can learn from others.


I invite you to do the following 3-step exercise:


  • Make a list of people you hang around with the most.
  • List the areas you want to improve or you are stuck in
  • Identify an area or areas in which people on your list, are better than you or look up to them in regards to certain subject.


Analyze the results:


If you have more than 70% of these people in your list: congratulations, you are not the smartest brain in the room and you are in for continuous growth, self-improvement.


If you have less than 70% of these people in your list: outline a strategic plan. Find ways to meet people in areas you want to develop yourself in and make a plan to get acquainted. You NEED to have people who are far better than you to grow.


If you have 50% or less of people who are better than you in different areas: This is an SOS signal, immediately start checking what areas you are falling short in: health, professional development, personal growth, social awareness, etc. and outline a plan to start meeting people and organizations that lead you to new “arrivals”. Meaning, new comers that you can mirror and model by proximity and learn from them.


Finally remember one thing from this all:


“if you are the smartest in the room…fine…move to other room, do not get stuck, live and grow purposefully”


A few days ago I made this exercise myself, and to be honest around 60% of the people who are around me are way better than me. I still have some “homework” to fine at least 10% to purposefully develop myself.  Of that 60% some of them outsmart me incredibly, are extremely successful and great role models for which I am grateful to meet them, talk to them and model them, because I know in a few months I will start seeing changes in my own behaviors, beliefs and approaches which will be positive for my growth: 100%.


Start your list today and take charge and bear in mind:


“You cannot win if you do not begin! The people who get ahead in the world are the ones who look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them” – John C. Maxwell


Have a great day/week and looking forward to your comments, Eli