Forming Your Inner Circle

February 27, 2024

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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Forming Your Inner Circle

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Being an effective leader is very much about maintaining strong relationships. In previous articles in this mini-series, we have discussed four key relationships for leaders.

In this final article in the series, we will discuss your relationship to your inner circle.

This is where it gets personal.

For years, it was considered a badge of honor to climb the corporate ladder to success, no matter the cost. Whatever sacrifice was required, they reasoned, it would all be worth it to finally reach the top.

And many did reach the top, only to find it to be quite lonely there. From the golden confines of their corner office, they realized they had no close friends and no family to welcome them home in the evening. Or maybe their children who grew up in the home they provided had also grown apart from them over the years.

In this regard, 2020 provided a wake-up call, as people were mandated to go home.

For some, it was a welcome reprieve, a chance to slow the frenetic pace and enjoy time with family. For others, it was a realization that, in their zeal for pursuing success, they had lost their most important connections.

It’s a question people are asking themselves to this day: “How do I re-establish connections?”


Take time to consider who you need to have in your inner circle. It helps to think of this in terms of “TEAM.”

Who do you need on your inner circle TEAM?

Teachers, Trainers, Mentors

Consider each area of your life. Who stands out in each of those areas that could serve as a teacher or mentor for you? These days, teachers and mentors are accessible via more avenues than ever – in person; via podcasts, email, or online classes; or on social media, just to name a few. Surrounding yourself with strong teachers in each area of life helps to create a circle of protection and opportunities for growth.


Let’s face it. Even the strongest leaders need encouragement now and then. Who do you have in your inner circle who will encourage you when you become weary in well doing? Who will listen and respond with just what you need to hear when you need to hear it? For many, this is a spouse, a close friend or family member, or a mastermind group. A few weeks ago, my dear friend and mentor, Dan Miller, was diagnosed with advanced cancer. He passed just 48 days after the diagnosis. But one of the greatest highlights of that time was when several friends from his decades-long mastermind group flew down to spend the day with him. His inner circle encouraged him that day.


Sometimes, you just need someone to fight alongside you in the trenches. When the load of decision or action becomes more than you, as a leader, can carry alone, who do you turn to for help in shouldering the burden? Who will stand by your side when the going gets tough?


Consider the Dead Sea. Waters flow in. But because there is no outlet, it cannot sustain life. This is life without mentees. If you spend your life learning and growing but have no outlet to share what you know with others, it limits your life and legacy. If you want to expand your influence and create a legacy, you must find a way to serve others. This allows you to expand your inner circle.


Action Steps

  1. Write down each area of your life. For each area, identify your teachers and mentors.
  2. Write down your list of encouragers. Who can you go to when you need encouragement?
  3. Who are your allies? How do they help you?
  4. How can you serve others with what you know? Who are those others?

For valuable resources, click here.

Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after executive coach, mentor, consultant, and speaker worldwide. Deb is well versed in business operations and in the importance of asking key questions most business leaders won’t ask themselves. She brings deep experience in leadership development, strategy, high performance team building and effective communication. She has a passion for leading people to discover and maximize their strengths as well as those of fellow team members, while offering advanced strategies to achieve high performance. Deb is the perfect fit if you’re ready to take your leadership and impact to the next level!