people of influence and positive purpose

We all have people in our life who we can rely on.  I call them “PIPP’s” or People of Influence and Positive Purpose. 

They are the people we turn to in times of uncertainty.  They are also the people who have our best interests in mind when dispensing counsel, sharing opinions or asking challenging questions. They are rock solid, reliable and resilient.  They support you, even when you don’t fully appreciate them. 

PIPP’s are rare gems.  They are precious assets and we all need them in our lives. 

It is highly likely you are a PIPP too.

What is a PIPP? 

A PIPP is someone who helps you.  They genuinely care for your well-being and their motivation stems from altruistic characteristics.  PIPP’s are the people who lift you up when you are down, who challenge your thinking when you are foggy and who push you to achieve more than you believe is possible.  They do so with no agenda, other than assisting you to be the best you can be.  They understand what you want and help you along the way.  They speak truth, even when it is uncomfortable.

Who are your PIPP’s?

Most likely, you will only ever have a handful of these people in your life.  Hold on to them!  Fortunately, you may uncover new PIPP’s over time.  They might present themselves through family, social, or work connections and may catch you by surprise.  Through connecting with others and sharing stories of purpose, you may unwittingly stumble across someone who genuinely cares and can help you.   

The challenge is to spot the difference between people who have the sincerity, the courage, the selflessness and the honesty to support you, versus the untamed “Advice Monsters” (check out this really interesting TED talk by Michael Bungay Stanier).  Unfortunately, the list of people in your life who will give unsolicited advice and opinions that serve their purpose, more so than yours, is likely to be much longer than your PIPP list. 

Questions to ask

The most trusted and influential people in your life will be obvious.  It could be a parent, a partner, a family member or a best friend. 

Others may be harder to recognise.  They may be a teacher, a coach, a manager or a work colleague.  The common thread will be people who know you well and genuinely care about you and your purpose.  Their motivation is drawn from a genuine desire to help you be a better person. 

Here are some questions to help identify the PIPP’s around you:

  • What are your biggest achievements and who helped you the most along the way?
  • Who would take your call and help you no matter how badly you’ve stuffed up?
  • Who would you drop everything for, when they called for help?
  • Who are you most often angry with, because they ask you questions you hate answering, only to realise that their questions are designed to help you?
  • Who listens to you without offering any advice unless you ask for it?
  • Who puts you back in your box when you step over the line?
  • Who tells you the truth, even when they know it might be painful?
  • Who continues to help you over and over again?
  • Who do you trust?

I’m sure there are more questions that could be asked, but I’ve found these useful to remember the people in your life who really matter. 

Showing gratitude

Although these people are rare gems, we often take them for granted and forget to say “thanks”.  In fact, in many instances, the people who play enormously impactful roles in our lives, may not even understand the value they provide. 

Hopefully my questions above have given you an idea of these key people in your world, so why not reach out and let them know how much you value their support. 

Are you a PIPP?

Most likely the answer is yes.  You are probably having a positive impact on someone else, even if you’re not aware of it. 

Read the questions again, but this time consider who would answer with your name.  If the resulting list is shorter than you’d like it to be, perhaps it’s time to do something about it and make further meaningful contributions to those around you.

In these times of uncertainty, we all need PIPP’s nearby. 

Ben Walsh
General Manager, Recruitment

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