The 4 people you need in your inner circle for success

Expert Janine Garner talks the importance of people around you

At the 2019 Australian Open Novak Djokovic won the men’s singles title for a record-breaking seventh time. In his acceptance speech he talked to the fact that a year earlier he’d been undergoing surgery and that without the collective effort of his team he couldn’t have achieved this title. He thanked his coaching team one by one for developing the formula for him that’s working, and he thanked his inner circle, his family, for their unparalleled support through tough times.

It was leadership expert John C Maxwell who said, “Those closest to you determine your level of success, so choosing the right companions as partners in pursuit of your vision is an important decision.” He went on to add, “My advice is to surround yourself with talented people who will challenge you, help you grow and inspire you to maximise your potential.”

This is the power of your personal Inner Circle. It is more than a pocketful of business cards, a database full of contacts, a list of ‘friends’ on social media (all of which I accept are needed for lead generation and business growth).  Rather, your key network provides an additional powerful layer of awesomeness to you. They understand you, your goals and your dreams for success. They respect your strengths and your imperfections, the areas you rock at and the areas you need support in. They provide quality thinking and behaviours and push you further than you could ever go alone.

Who is in your network?

How much input or influence they have on what you are doing or trying to achieve is critical to your growth and success.

Choosing your network wisely starts with these 4-key groups of people: 


These are the people who will help you achieve more, the individuals who always see more in you than you see in yourself. They see possibility where you see impossibility. Your own personal cheerleading squad. They’re with you by your side through thick or thin, never giving up on you, always dreaming big with you. Promoters pull you towards your future dreams, make noise about potential possibilities, spend time with you to explore how you’re going to achieve your goals and inspire you to become more.

Need more proof? According to research from the Centre for Talent Innovation, people with promoters (aka sponsors) are 23 per cent more likely to move up in their career than those without sponsors.


Climbing the ladder of success can be a lonely task, requiring grit, determination and perseverance. We all experience days of frustration and disappointment, days when we have to face our fears, make tough decisions or calls, push past failures, recalibrate our reality and keep focused on opportunities that lie outside our comfort zone. Having the right crew to help you overcome these difficulties, keeping you mentally tough and balanced, is crucial. 

Like a Formula One pit stop, your pit crew can make or break a race.  They add stamina to run the marathon of your dreams; to navigate complexities and recover from setbacks. 


A life of continuous learning is essential to growth. Successful people know this, that’s why they have an insatiable desire and commitment to learn more, in more ways than one.

Harvard professor Linda Hill says, “You can’t think of something new unless you are being pushed to think in new directions, and you can’t do that unless you are engaging with people who have a different viewpoint.”

The right teachers teach you mastery, guide and stretch your thinking, challenge your ideas, and encourage you to push further because they know that this constant curiosity creates real opportunity for growth, achievement and success.


Love them or hate them, we all need butt-kickers: those individuals who help accelerate the journey, pushing you to do more and holding you accountable for all your actions. They accelerate action, they mentor you through your thinking and decision making and they call you on your bullshit.

Butt-kickers are masters of delivery. They hold you accountable for your actions and decisions, and ensure you do what you say you’re going to do—and then some.

Choose your tribe carefully. Take control because strategically aligning yourself with the right people will fast track your goals and ambitions and influence the person you eventually become.

Janine Garner is a global thought leader on powerful networking, collaboration and transformational leadership. Visit