The Secret? Surround Yourself By Greatness


August 16, 2013

Simple messages often resonate longer and louder.  I heard one this week that is doing just that.

Tuesday had been a mentally challenging day for me, in a positive way.  Still, as I left work and headed for home, long after the time I intended to, my mind needed to decompress.  I was flipping through various radio stations when I came across Oprah’s voice.  Something about her tone made me stop and listen.  She was teaching herLifeclass and the guest was Bishop TD Jakes.  I didn’t know who he was, but his booming voice captivated me.  It turns out that Bishop Jakes is the senior pastor at The Potter’s House, a 30,000 strong non-denominational church in Dallas.

He was speaking about mothers who have not had a good role model for a variety of reasons when I heard him say, “You have to surround yourself by greatness in order to be great.”  His point was that just because someone did not have a good role model as a mother, as long as they surround themselves with great mothers now, they will learn to be great mothers.

You have to surround yourself by greatness in order to be great.

The power of those simple words spoke volumes to me because I believe them.  They apply in so many ways:

  • You want to be a great leader? Surround yourself with great leaders who you can emulate and learn from.
  • You want to be better at your job?  Surround yourself with others in your field who push themselves to success so that you can learn how they internally motivate themselves, how they train, how they reach the heights they reach.
  • You want to be a better parent?  Associate with parents who make time for their kids, who participate in their interests and who show their love and support openly.
By surrounding yourself with people who behave in ways that are positive and align with the type of person you want to be, you are more likely to incorporate those behaviors into your life.  How do I know?  I have been doing this for years and believe that all my success comes from great family, friend and professional mentors.
How about you?



  • Trish I love this! And the coolest thing is that with our social networks, we now have even more opportunities than ever before to surround ourselves with greatness. We are no longer limited to the greatness in our immediate vicinty, we can tap into it from around the country and around the world.

    • @Jen- Thanks Jen. You’re right, social makes it easy to find those people who really set the bar high that we can surround ourselves with. You and I are both personally very lucky in that regard. 🙂


    I personally love it, and Bishop Jake is just right about everything – and so are you Trish!

    It is important to learn by others, who have great success at the job, in the family etc. But as a comment to what Jen wrote, I also think that social media like Facebook and Instagram can diffusse low self-esteem and insequrity among women and men, with all their unrealistic pictures and status updates…… You can easily get the understanding, that all your colleagues have HUGE energy, eating all the right and healthy things and never have just a small sign of stress, even though they have 1554321 tasks at work. Like “Have had an amazing day with my colleagues, starting on a new education tomorrow, and ran 10 km before dinner with the whole family. Life is good” Well, a lot of my friends have done that, and I just sit like “All this at ONE day????”

    But back to your post Trish.. You’re so right and I will try to remeber the wise words of Bishop Jake when I need more energy for my job 🙂

  • This is so true. I’ve been listening to TD Jakes since the mid-nineties and his messages always inspire me.!!

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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