Some of you may remember the great university of Michigan basketball team from 1991 nicknamed the “Fab Five.” Short of a poorly called time out by one of the players, they could have won the NCAA tournament that year. There is another fab five you should consider, one that is much closer to home, the five people you spend the most time with. Famous motivational speaker and growth and development expert Jim Rohn was quoted as saying that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

That is a powerful statement for you personally. I invite you to think about this but from a different perspective. The people that work around you are a product of the five people they spend the most time with at work. 

Personally, you get to decide who you disassociate with, who you have limited association with, and who you have expanded associations with. As leaders you also make this decision for the members of your team. Put these two concepts together and you find yourself in a position to strongly influence the culture in your environment but putting the right people with the right people.

Whether you have a team of five or five hundred, It is nearly impossible for you to know the five people who everyone on your team individually spends the most time with. This is one of the disadvantages of flat organizations, there are too many people reporting to you. If too many people report to you, it is difficult to manage those relationships to this level. When there is hierarchy, and please don’t hate that word, there is opportunity for deeper relationships. If you have three managers reporting to you, there is opportunity to understand who the five people are who they spend the most time with. Most likely, and hopefully, you are one of them. If you can gain that level of insight into them, train them to gain that level of insight into people on their teams, you would build a culture with full understanding of how people influence others.

As I think about this from a personal perspective, I can determine who the five are in my life. God, my wife, my kids (there are three but lets just count them here as one), Mike from work, and the fifth is a mixed bag and changes more frequently but for now lets say its DeWayne. DeWayne is interesting because I have never met him, it is a virtual mentorship of sorts. If you are really the average of the five people you spend the most time with, be very careful who you select for those positions of honor in your life. Additionally, consider it a lifetime achievement to be included in someone else’s “Fab Five” list!



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