Who’s in your support crew?

Who do you surround yourself with?

Imagine if we all built a team of people around us who knew what greatness we had inside, could be there with us through the highs and lows and supported us to be the best we could be? How powerful that could be! What could we achieve?

That’s what went through my mind when I recently saw an interview with the inspirational Lydia Lassila after she became the first woman to do a quadruple-twisting triple somersault in aerial skiing at the Socchi Winter Games.

Alisa Camplin (interviewer): Lydia, every great athlete has great people around them, who do you want to thank?

Lydia Lassila (Australian aerial skiier): I’ve had such an amazing support team. My husband has been incredible, wanting me to achieve my dreams, my friends and family are amazing. My sponsors who have stuck by me through thick and thin, the Olympic Winter Institute has believed in me, the Australian government has been great in supporting our program, my management team has been an amazing support. The list goes on. I have to thank our support team – my coach and mental trainer – it is such a team effort and I don’t think I’d be the athlete I am today without all these people in my life. It’s been incredible.

Alisa Camplin: Everyone put that work into you because they knew what greatness you had inside of you and last night you showed all of Australia why you are a champion.

Watching Lydia Lassila talk about the role of her support crew in her success reinforced just how important the people we surround ourselves with are to our lives.

As a facilitator of leadership programs I’ve been so fortunate to hear the wisdom of many people, successful in their own way, all with their own strengths and talents and learnings about their leadership journey. One common theme is that they don’t do it on their own. They surround themselves with people who have different strengths to them. They have all had mentors who challenged them, raised the bar for them, shared their wisdom and offered support.

My tip? Think about your network strategically and realise you don’t have to do it on your own. Imagine you are the CEO of “You Inc”. Who would you want on your board of management? Or you might think of yourself as a professional athlete – who would you want in your support crew?

There are heaps of ways to connect with people and broaden your network to access new skills, perspectives and inspiration whether it be spending time in your community or with family, joining an association or starting a mastermind group, getting active on social media, reconnecting with fabulous people from your past, inviting someone to have a cup of tea with you, keeping up with your professional development, accessing some coaching or mentoring and the list goes on! What could you do?

Finally, your network is not all a one-way street. You also play an important role for many of the people in your network. To whom could you offer support and in what way?

By taking some time out to review and re-boot our networks, I’d like to imagine we could all be achieving our own version of the quadruple-twisting triple somersault, surrounded by the people who know and believe in the greatness we have inside!

What about you? I’d really encourage you to ask yourself the following questions, note your thoughts down and see what emerges for you.


    • Imagine you are building your very own support crew from scratch. What roles would you need eg coach, mentor, psychologist, someone to challenge you or to be accountable to, someone who inspires you or who believes in you?


    • Who’s in your current network? Draw it on a mind map. Who could play these roles? Are there any gaps?


    • What are the ways you could connect with people you’d like to be part of your network?


    • Whose team could you be a part of? What role could you play for someone in your network?


Best wishes, Cynthia
Cynthia Mahoney
Director, Cynthia Mahoney and Associates

Cynthia Mahoney and Associates works with people, teams and organisations to be their best. We specialise in personal and professional leadership and development, facilitation and evaluation. We invite you to keep in touch and join our network.



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