You need to surround yourself with the right people. And by “right people”, I’m not just talking about people you enjoy chilling with or that you call friends. I am talking about people you can trust. And when I says “trust”, I’m not talking about people willing to tell you anything you want to hear. I’m not talking about people there to pump up your ego.

By “people you trust”, I am talking about the people you can count on at any time, regardless of your perceived station in life. I’m talking about people who genuinely have your back, regardless of whether you have two pennies or two billion in the bank account. I’m talking about people who will build you up when you are down and call you out if you act destructively, manipulatively, or exploitatively.

These people are especially important to have in your life when you are in positions of authority and trust. Double the importance yet again if your personality comes off strong. And yes, you want some of these people on your team. As much as the people on your team are accountable to you, you should be accountable to them. Whether they are paid or not, they are giving you their time and energy. You will gain more respect and trust by genuinely having their best interests at heart and allowing them to return the favor.

My willingness to invest time and energy in Bobby Gene is directly proportional to my ability to trust Bobby Gene. If I can’t trust Bobby Gene not to screw me over or stab me in the back, then I’m going to minimize my commitment to Bobby Gene’s cause and enter into it braced for potential damage.

Open the channels for mutual accountability.

Never work for someone who has no accountability whatsoever. Doing so is just asking to be burned catastrophically.

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