Warren Buffet remembers speaking to a woman who had survived the Auschwitz concentration camp. Auschwitz was a complex of over forty concentration and extermination camps operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II’s Holocaust.
He asked this woman, “How do you define friendship?”
She said her test was:
“Would they hide me?”
I take friendship very seriously.
When I was studying to be a concert pianist, I had a friend. We were both 17. We were like sisters and even wrote a song together. You can listen to it here (scroll down to the song).
There were just a few guys in our mostly all-girls music college of Shatalov where we were students, a prestigious music college in Russia.
And we both managed to desperately like one guy. He wanted to be my boyfriend. I told him, as much as I would absolutely LOVE to be his girlfriend, I could not because it would be hard for my friend since she really liked him.
When the sanctions were imposed on Russia this year, I dropped everything to move my family to another country.
I went there for three weeks to set everything up, sort out the documentation, and get everything in motion for them to reallocate.
As I mentioned to you earlier, this plan did not work out because my sister, her husband, and their son, who were the first wave of people who were supposed to move, eventually went back to Russia.
But I did everything I could to help, at a huge cost (years of savings, not counting the damage to my health from the efforts on top of my usual responsibilities, and stress).
So I take friendship and family very seriously.
But most friends will only continue being your friend as long as it serves THEM.
A lot of people you are friendly with are not your friends.
They “would not hide you.”
It’s important not to have illusions.
Success requires clarity.
I spent roughly the first decade or so of my adult life, and the last few years of my youth in this pursuit of a “REAL” friendship.
Only these “friendships” are most of the time one-sided.
Benjamin Franklin’s statement comes to mind:
“There are three faithful friends,
an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.”
So be careful about the illusions you may have about “who will hide you.”
And cherish people in your life who maybe are not perfect, not as cool, and may at times drive you crazy with their shortcomings. But you know that they “will hide you” any day of the week.
I am blessed to have people like that in my life.
And my hope for you is that you have such people too.
Our community has an unusual number of such decent and loyal people. It is incredible for me to see the family atmosphere that is created during our coaching calls for programs like The MasterPlan.
Maybe because it takes a rare kind of person to spend time positioning themselves for a higher level of contribution versus doing something way easier like watching football and drinking beer with friends. Not, that you should not do that at times.
If you want to be a part of an exclusive closed small group with some of our most amazing clients, and get coached by Michael and me to help you elevate your level of executive presence, gravitas, and ability to hold the attention of ANY room, apply to join Speak Without Limits. [Applications are closing soon]
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