How Strategic Are Your Friendships?


It sounds self serving, but should our friendships be strategic? Somehow the words friendship and strategy should never appear together, right? Before you dismiss the concept altogether, consider that a strategy is an intentional pursuit of a goal. I have key strategic friendships in my life. These are not self-serving, one-way relationships. That’s not a friendship. But relationships that are two-way conversations. They are shared story lines that intercept in time and create a common narratives for two people. I have strategic friendships because I need the perspective, input and companionship of friends who help me grow in the areas I’m most deficient. However, I pray that I can give more to my friend than what I get from them.

Strategic friendships

I have friends who challenge and guide me spiritually. I can always count on them to probe deeper and hold me accountable to my personal spiritual growth.

I have friends who stimulate me professionally. I love learning from people who have a mind for business and are doing well.

I have friends who push me physically. Fitness is a big part of my daily routine. I run, cycle, lift weights and my athlete friends keep me accountable. I wrote more about them here.

I have friends who share with me a difference perspective in life. The older I get the more I tend to live in a bubble. And my bubble seems to get smaller every day. I have friends outside my demographic and psychographic bubble. They are in different stages of life than me and their world view helps me see life through their eyes.

I have strategic friendships who are outside the faith. It’s difficult for me to be “salt and light” and only associate with believers. While I pray that they’ll have an life-changing encounter with God, I never minimize the importance of our relationship. These are good friends.

How strategic are you about your friendships? Have you ever gone out of your way to befriend someone?

  • MarklPost

    This post has caught me by surprise. I have never thought about being strategic about my friends. I just meet people as I go through life. I think I’m missing out on life because of it.

    • Anonymous

      Mark, just understanding that we need to be balanced and certain people will help us get there.

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  • Vona

    I have several friendships that are strategic, or what I call, “intentional” and they are huge blessings in my life. For exactly the reasons you mention….intentional friendships in my life are with people who sharpen me. (Prov 27:17) I would be missing so much without them! Authentic friendship for any reason is good.

    • Anonymous

      Great verse, Vona. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great thoughts! It’s challenging to think of friendship in strategic terms, because that seems so…unfriendly. but you’re absolutely right. Strategic doesn’t mean self-serving. I honestly wish I had more strategic friendships….I feel like I haven’t done a good job taking advantage of the great people God had put in my life. I kinda wrote about that last week, and this post has me thinking all the more.nnThanks, as always!

    • Anonymous

      I had someone disagree with me because I sounded too self serving. My prayer is that I can give more to my friends than what I get from them.

  • Pastor Tom

    Great post sir.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for stopping by

  • I agree although I’ve always thought of it more so as intentional diversity in friends (but anything intentional really is strategic… isn’t it?)

    • Anonymous

      I could have used the word “intentional” but “strategic” was more provocative and therefore had a better chance to drive traffic. I’m a marketer after all. 🙂

  • I love this post, Maurilio. I can look around me at the life-giving friendships I have right now and see that they are more intentional and strategic than I had ever thought or planned. I read a blog awhile back about having a “personal board of directors”, or friends, mentors and advisors who were strong, skilled and wise in areas where you may not necessarily be. I thrive on these kinds of mutual relationships. I love this concept and can certainly see it at work in my life.

    • Anonymous

      I really like the personal board of directors idea. I think Hilary Clinton was right; it takes a village to raise a child and a small town to keep me accountable and growing.

  • I just ran across your blog tonight, and I have to say, this is a great post. I don’t think I would have ever thought of my friendships as strategic before, but after reading your post, I see I’ve been more strategic than I had thought or planned. I try to have a diverse group of people who speak into my life and whose lives I speak into. They keep me accountable, push me and call me out when I’m not acting as I should. I love this idea!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You’re blessed to have people in your life to keep you accountable. A lot of guys are out there all alone.

  • Courtney

    Great post & authentic!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Courtney

  • My “horizons” have been broadened in the last year when it comes to strategic friends. My challenge is finding the time for them.nnBetween work, family and an MBA the social life is non-existent.

    • Anonymous

      That’s a tough one. I find that texting can be a very time effective way to reach out to my circle of friends and not spend a lot of time.

  • I personally like friends who observe things around me that I do not normally see and are not intimidated to disagree with my views. They challenge me to think from a different perspective, so my mind stays alert searching for answers and solutions.n

    • Anonymous

      These are the best kind of friends. You’re blessed to have them in your life.

  • Leorashanks

    Love  Maurillio’s ideas!

  • George286

    Disagree. Prostitutes, sociopaths, boot-lickers, trophy spouses and the like have ‘strategic friendships.’ You need to go look up the definition of ‘friend’ and distinguish it from ‘partner’, ‘ally’ or ‘co-venturer’, friendly perhaps, nothing wrong with it but very different. A ‘strategic friendship’ is treating someone as a resource by faking a friendship. Your friends are people you care about and enjoy in this life, like house pets, perhaps kindred spirits, a little like family members, they are not resources (although sometimes they (and even family members) can regrettably become too much of a liability to continue with). Don’t mistake the two or you may find to your great surprise that your ‘friends’ (doing the same thing) give you the boot the when you are no longer useful to them and that people with integrity are wary of you for some (good) reason.

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