Advertising legend David Ogilvy used to give each of his senior executives a set of Russian nested Troika dolls. Wrapped around the smallest doll was a hand-written note with the following advice on how to hire people: “If each of us hires people who are lesser than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are greater than we are, we shall become a company of giants.” That philosophy helped propel him and his companies to the top of the industry.

Surrounding yourself with good people is an excellent practice both at work and in your personal life. Our choices of friends, peers and our network plays a large role in our success and happiness. These are the people who inspire us, console us, drive us and help us through the tough times. They are also the people by whom we will often be judged.

As much as possible, seek people with positive attitudes, values you share, integrity and a genuine interest in others. By the same token, avoid negative people, or people who aren’t willing to look beyond their own needs. They can be a big drain on your happiness and your future.

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