Expanding Your Inner Circle

leadership Mar 15, 2019
Join forces with heroes

If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to hear Paul Martinelli speak about leadership, you might be tempted to believe his passion for helping people achieve their dreams came entirely from himself. He certainly inspires and he certainly motivates. But if you were to ask him, he would tell you how important it is to surround yourself with talented and enthusiastic people who can help you grow.

Today, Paul Martinelli is the President of The John Maxwell Team, and he helps people all over the world develop their leadership skills. But he worked hard to get where he is and he surrounded himself with people who could support his journey.

You could say he learned his leadership skills in the company of heroes. As a young man, he was recruited by the anti-crime activist, Curtis Silwa. Together they led the Guardian Angels, a group of volunteers who conducted unarmed safety patrols through some of the toughest neighbourhoods in the United States and Canada. That’s how Paul learned the importance of aligning yourself with people who share your vision and what can be accomplished when people come together for a common goal.

The Law of the Inner Circle

After the Guardian Angels, Paul Martinelli, went on to run a highly success cleaning company. Again, he aligned himself with people who shared his vision. His guiding concern was the study and application of human potential. In every case, the people in his inner circle joined him in reaching their greatest potential. Their efforts helped Paul Martinelli win Northwood University’s prestigious Arthur E. Turner Entrepreneur of the Year award.

In 2006, Paul Martinelli became a full-time personal development speaker, trainer and coach, which is how he aligned with John Maxwell. When you set your vision clearly, the people who belong in your inner circle are often drawn to you. John Maxwell calls this the Law of the Inner Circle. The UpCloseTeam is proud to say that both Paul Martinelli and John Maxwell are in our inner circle. Their inspiration and example sustain us in our leadership consulting work.

Five Powerful Questions

We all have people we spend more time with. They are our mentors and our champions, our coaches and our heroes. We listen most to their voices and we try to emulate their actions. You are probably already surrounded by inspiring and talented people, but if you are like most of us, you have room for more.

In “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, John Maxwell gives us five powerful questions we can use to expand our inner circle to ensure we continue to grow. As you look for companions on your leadership journey, ask yourself:

  1. Do they have high influence with others? Look for people who are strong leaders themselves, able to inspire others, and draw people towards a common vision.
  2. Do they have gifts that complement yours? Don’t forget to build relationships with people who have strengths that are different from yours. For example, if you’re a system maker, seek people who are creative thinkers. If you have a talent for big-picture thinking, look for people with a keen eye on detail.
  3. Do they hold a strategic position in the organization? As a leader, it is only natural that you will look for other people with a strong vision for what’s possible within the organization.
  4. Do they add value to your life and to the organization? You can tell a real leader by what they do for others. Those are the people you want in your inner circle.
  5. Do they make a positive impact on the other people in your circle? A certain kind of magnetism forms around passionate and talented people with a common vision. When your inner circle is filled with the right people, the impact is obvious. It is a self-sustaining system. The people in the inner circle make one another better.
Call to Action:

Look around your organization and find people you would like to draw into your inner circle. Let the five powerful questions in this blog guide you.


The best is yet to come. It starts with you.

Your friends,
The UpCloseTeam