Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

True Friends

October 3, 2021

by Robert Stevenson

Most people have a pretty good idea who their enemies are, and if they are smart, they follow Niccollo Machiavelli’s advice of: “Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.” Today I want to address something we sometimes give very little thought to … our friends. We have a tendency to closely monitor our enemies, watching every move they make, but overlook or take for granted the people who can have the most impact on our lives.

A true friend should give support and advice, help out when you need a hand, have your best interest in mind, look out for you, pick you up when you get down, stand up for you when others speak ill of you, join in your grief and share in your happiness, want what is best for you, and have your back when someone is out to get you. They are your colleague, teammate, ally, pal, supporter and helper all rolled up into one person.

If you want to prosper in life, start paying more attention to your friends; they are your TEAM, your CREW, your FAMILY that you get to choose. It’s tough to succeed in this highly competitive world doing it all alone. The more friends you have, the more you enhance your chances for success. Former CEO of GE, Jack Welch, once stated: “The teams with the best players win,” so choose your friends wisely. If you hang out with successful, positive people who believe in taking responsibility for their lives, you will find yourself doing the same thing. But, if you hang out with a bunch of pessimists who believe the world is out to get them, your chances of becoming a pessimist have greatly increased.

Also, remember social status should have NOTHING to do with someone qualifying to be your friend. Treat everyone with the same RESPECT; social status, job title or money should have nothing to do with the “friends” you pick to be on your team. As the country singer, Garth Brooks, wrote in one of his most famous songs, “I’ve got friends in low places.” As far as I’m concerned, you need friends in all places.

To me, friendship starts with showing respect. Respect is the catalyst that the starts the friendship and also the glue that holds it together. Always remember, before you can have a friend, you need to “FIRST and Foremost” be a friend. To grow your TEAM of friends you need to be there for them; it is a two-way street. Here is a great acrostic for the word F.R.I.E.N.D. : 

Take a moment and write down your list of “true” friends. If you aren’t sure if they qualify, go back up to the second paragraph and re-read my list of requirements to be considered a friend. NOW, start growing your list. Pay attention to your list. Cultivate your list. Appreciate your list. Stay in touch with your list. By doing so, you will be amazed how much more joy and success you will get out of life.

As the Beatles rock group wrote, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” We sure do.

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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