Leadership expert Jim Rohn once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with”.

In a recent conversation with Jack Kautz of Lodi, California he reflected on this topic and gave his perspective. Jack said that throughout the different areas of life, from family to career and from fitness to personal development, he has looked for people to surround himself with that do three things.

One: Look for people who you can trust

This by far the most important and challenging when it comes to the people who are close to you. Without trust, there’s not a solid foundation for the relationship. You may have a lot of things in common but if you can’t trust someone, the relationship will fall short of being beneficial for you.

You need people in your life you can be brutally honest with and know they aren’t going to hold anything else against you. These are people who support you through thick and thin.

You can trust them with your good, bad, and ugly and they still stand by your side. You can share your struggles and know they won’t hold them against you AND they won’t talk with anyone else about you and your struggles.

When you find someone you can trust do everything you can to protect that relationship. Do whatever it takes to strengthen and maintain it because it will be a lifeline when you need it most.

Two: Look for people who challenge you

These are the people that draw out the best in you. They don’t let you sit back and rest on your past successes.

If you’re a husband or father they push you to provide and care for your family ahead of anything else. They call you out when you’re not giving your best to your family.

In business, these are the people that are challenging you to become the best at what you do. If you’re a salesperson they are there to ask if you’ve closed all the deals you should have. If you’re a manager they want to know if you’re doing all you can to build the best team that can be built.

Don’t surround yourself with ‘yes’ people. Look for people who say ‘no’ and ask ‘why’. This is the only way you’ll become the best at who you and what you do.

Three: Look for people you can coach

You absolutely need others that are making deposits into your life. But, if you’re always on the receiving end you won’t grow. Look for others you can coach and mentor.

Throughout life, you’ve learned a lot of lessons. You’ve learned what it means to win and lose. You’ve gained a lot of wisdom that you need to transfer to others that will help them. There’s a universal principle that when you ‘give’ you ‘receive.’

Make sure you have at least a couple of people in your life that you can ‘give’ to.

Take it from Jack Kautz, it doesn’t matter if your friends are in Lodi, California, or Pamplona, Spain they’re important so choose them wisely.