The company you keep will have a profound effect on your level of success. Renowned businessman Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.

How about you? Who is in your Top 5 Inner Circle?

It is common for lawyers to underestimate the importance of the people they spend the most time with. Oftentimes, outside of work, they are the most accomplished person in their inner circle. Is that true for you? Are you the person everyone else in your inner circle turns to for advice (personal, professional and legal)? Are you always the smartest person in the room and the moral compass for your core group of friends?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you need to reconsider who is in your Top 5 Inner Circle. Why?

Because the goals, mindsets and attitudes of the people you surround yourself with matter.

There are 5 ways the people in your Top 5 Inner Circle should contribute to your life and goals.

  1. You should share similar core values, fundamental beliefs, and guiding principles that dictate behavior. For example, you believe in doing the right thing not simply because you are professionally and ethically required to do so, but because at the core of who you are, doing so matters to you. Value misalignments should be deal-breakers.
  2. Your relationships should be mutually beneficial. You should enjoy a mentally stimulating brain share with the people in your Top 5 Inner Circle. You should be able to learn and grow from their experiences, views, and perspectives.
  3. Your Top 5 Inner Circle should celebrate who you are and what you have accomplished by supporting your next-level dreams and goals. They should ‘fan the flames’ of the highest vision and version of you and not attempt to extinguish them.
  4. Your Top 5 Inner Circle should include individuals who are where you want to go. They should be inspirational and aspirational, challenging you to trade in the currency of your brilliance and operate at your fullest potential.
  5. Your Top 5 Inner Circle should like you and enjoy your company.

If you remain rooted in relationships that do not evolve, grow, and elevate you or bring you forward, you are not helping yourself or the other person. Not everyone in your current Top 5 Inner Circle will have the desire to or the ability to journey along with you to where you want to go.

Take a few moments to write down your answers to the following questions:

  • What kind of person do you want to be? What qualities do you wish to embody and possess?
  • List the 5 people you spend the most time with now and the top 3 values and qualities they tend to lead with? Is there a misalignment?
  • Do these current 5 represent the person you want to be and where you want to be in the future? Do they support your next-level vision of yourself? Do they elevate you or bring you down?
  • List 5 people who currently embody the values, qualities, and mindsets you desire?
  • List ways you can increase contact with them? Do these persons belong to a certain community that you can be part of? Is there a way for you to join the same social circles?

What else can you do?

You may be interested in the Women Lawyers Global Network, a private, community for women lawyers. Can you imagine being a part of a confidential group of women lawyers who wish to build next-level success in their careers while creating a happy and balanced personal life?  Interested? Email me at [email protected] or InMail on Linkedin.

#lawyers #womenlawyers #womeninlaw #biglaw #attorneys #innercircle


  • Lakeshia Ekeigwe

    Leadership Coach & Consultant for Lawyers


    Lakeshia facilitates deeply transformative experiences for leaders in law and business based on the principles of emotional intelligence, personal development, and self-awareness. Lakeshia provides coaching and consulting services from a whole-person perspective so lawyers and leaders learn how to create lives they love and build businesses and teams that thrive. Her work helps boost confidence, elevate trust, build strong personal and professional relationships, and resolve internal and external conflict in a positive and non-contentious manner.  Her clients include Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, Accenture, Kaiser Permanente, City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, Association of Corporate Counsel, University of Texas, Virginia Tech, and others. Lakeshia is a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).  She is MHS Certified in Emotional Intelligence EQi-2.0 and EQ 360; an International Coach Federation Certified CoachU Graduate; Certified in Mediation by SCMA - Southern California Mediation Association and The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office Dispute Resolution Program; Certified in Leadership Development by The Asian Pacific American Legal Center. Lakeshia is a member of Mensa (the “high IQ society”). Featured in MSNBC, HuffPost and LexisNexis LexTalk - LexisNexis Named as one of "10 Great Resources for Female Lawyers"