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  • Writer's pictureMonique Olan

Beyond experience: the power of your support system for growth

As leaders and founders, we pilot our professional journeys often with our experience, skills, and continuous dedication to learning guiding us. 

Yet, there's a powerful undercurrent influencing our trajectory: our support system.

The powerful triad of support

"The Squiggly Career" by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis offers profound insights into structuring an effective support system, which resonated deeply with me. The authors propose a triad crucial for robust support:

  1. The Confidant: Someone who understands your journey intimately, offering a safe space for your thoughts and emotions.

  2. The Challenger: A person who pushes you out of your comfort zone with tough, growth-oriented questions.

  3. The Mentor: An individual who provides guidance based on their experiences along similar paths.

This isn't merely about having connections — it's about fostering a strategic alliance that drives your progress.

Reflecting on YOUR support system

Contemplating my OWN network, several questions emerged, that I think are pivotal for anyone looking to solidify their support system:

  • Can you identify these three roles within your network? It’s crucial to recognize these distinct roles to leverage each for their unique value.

  • Are there gaps in your support system? Identifying missing pieces allows for more intentional expansion of your network as you seek to fill them..

  • How are you investing in this system? Investing time, energy, and resources into nurturing these relationships is key to strengthening your support base.

Do you play any of these roles for others? A strong network involves give and take; reflect on your contributions to the support systems of your peers. Where are you doing this well? Where could you support deeper knowing what role you play for that person or persons?

Strengthening your foundations

If you're encountering "confidence gremlins" as they mention in the book, or facing a plateau in your professional development, take a moment to assess your support system. Are these three roles distinctly fulfilled? If not, consider this an opportunity to cultivate a network that not only supports but also challenges and guides you.

Investing in your support system is an investment in your trajectory. Whether through mentorship, strategic networking, or personal development, the effort you put into building this foundation will pay dividends in confidence and growth – whether you’re an executive or aspiring executive pursuing career and personal growth, or you're a founder and entrepreneur looking for continued development and drive!

A call to take action for yourself

For founders and B2B leaders, the journey is as much about the destinations we reach as it is about the people who walk with us. I implore you to commit to being as intentional with your support system as we are with our business strategies.

I also encourage you to dive into "The Squiggly Career" for more insights!

And remember, in the vast ocean of professional development, your support system is your anchor, your sail, and your rudder.

Let's navigate these waters together, building networks that lift us and propel us toward uncharted territories of success!

PS. If you think I’m someone who could play one of these roles for you, please reach out! You can either connect with me on LinkedIn here, or if you want to jump on a coffee chat and call, feel free to book some time with me here.


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