The 4 Relationships You Need to Succeed


Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It happens in the context of relationships. I don’t believe there are any self-made people. Along the way, successful people intersected with those whom saw glimpses of potential and helped them to discover, nurture and deploy the skills that eventually got them where they are. I know that’s how it happened with me. While the definition of “success” varies wildly, I consider myself successful: I have a strong faith, a great family, a viable business, and friends the world over. But I didn’t get here on my own for sure. There’s no way I could name on this post those who have made a difference in my life. But they fit 4 different relationship roles that have helped me succeed.

The coach. These are the teachers, coaches, trainers who believe in my abilities when I didn’t even believe myself. I remembered I teacher in college giving me a paper back without a grade. She looked me in the eyes and said “you’re so much better than this. Rewrite it.” I never had to rewrite another paper from then on, including 2 years of graduate school.

The mentor. Some things only experience can teach you, and mentors can help us not to learn the hard way. These relationships are difficult sometimes to establish but vital to personal growth. My first year in ministry I watched my boss, the Senior Pastor, take a verbal beating from an older church member because we did not arrive at the hospital before his wife went into surgery. The man was out of line and as I got ready to say something, Ron waved me away. Within seconds, the gentleman broke down, cried and apologized. I learned so much about human nature that day.

The sage. I desperately need wisdom. The Bible has so much to say about the importance of wisdom in our lives. Sometimes the words of the sage are not what I want to hear but they are life-saving. Once I was enthralled by a “big” business opportunity and was ready to pull the trigger. A sage told me to walk away.  I didn’t want to. I was going to make a ton of money. Reluctantly I did. Later, I found out, had I gone ahead I would have lost everything.  And I mean, everything.

The friend. Friends love you just because; they believe the best about you and do life with you even when you’re separated by distance. I have been blessed to work, run, exercise, and play with people I truly love. I don’t think I could live without friends.

Did I forget another type?

  • Great post! Made me think of a lot of people from my life. I hope I can be a few of those things to some people along the way.

    • You have to be intentional about being that person. It doesn't come naturally.

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  • Susan Wilkinson

    Very nice, thank you.

  • Lisa Spene

    I'm so thankful for those who have given of themselves to me over the years. This was a great reminder of them. Thanks.

  • Great post Maurilio! Very timely as I received a strong recommendation and referral from one of my mentors today. When I emailed him to thank him, he said he did it because he believed in me. That's what mentors do! Those 4 words – "I Believe in You" – make the difference in someone's performance. Your post reminded me of this quote from Reggie Jackson who was talking about great baseball managers, but it applies to all kinds of leaders in life, both male and female: “A great manager … forces you to have a good opinion of yourself. He lets you know he believes in you. He makes you get more out of yourself. And once you learn how good you really are, you never settle for … anything less than your very best.”

  • Thank you for this. It reminds me of Bert Tippett, who passed away last night.

  • Thank you…that post really made me think about my life. I have a coach in my wife and I have great friends but I completely lack a sage and mentor. I crave a mentor but God hasn't chosen to allow one into my life yet. I'm praying for one.

    • I'm praying that you'll find someone who can add depth and wisdom to your life, Jason.

  • srivera

    Wow! Great post Retweeting Now!

    Even though I don't know you…(yet) you have impacted my life and will consider you a "mentor" Thanks for sharing your experiences and knowledge.

    "The older I get the more I realize people are watching how I live" – Ron Edmondson


    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I deeply appreciate them.

  • I'm actually in the process of learning this…God's way is learning to depend on those around you! I have the greatest mentor in the world, and friends who speak the truth in love…Your "well noted" advice ministered to me!

    • You're truly blessed to have someone speak truth in love. Hold on to that relationship.

  • Excellent post. Thank you for sharing.

    I'm working on trying to find a mentor. Need wisdom from the experienced to avoid big mistakes. Glad you listened to the sage.

    • Sometimes I think about the consequences had I gone ahead with the deal and I thank God for His protection. I'm praying you'll find a mentor.

  • Kenny Miracle

    I think this is right on. Thanks for sharing. I consistently find myself looking for mentors & sages that can just give some direction & experiential wisdom. When I run into someone like that, I either try to glean as much as I can or regret not trying at all. This also challenges me be a mentor even when I don't feel capable.

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