Almost everyone involved in Circles has experienced the power of a peer group. We, of course, did not invent the peer group, but we are working to democratize this idea, scale it, apply it in new ways.
When a group jells, it scratches that itch for meaningful, deep, connection. And this need is at an all-time high. David Brooks summarized two surveys that show that in 1985 we averaged three really close friends, but by 2004 that number dropped to two. Even though we are linked to more people than ever, we are increasingly isolated. Confiding in a group of peers is fulfilling even as it is worthwhile. It can connect friendship, learning, and financial earning.
“If you hang out with chickens, you're going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you're going to fly.” - Dr Steve Maraboli
In this video Circles advisor and investor Bre Pettis shares what he thinks is the most powerful part of Circles.
Like workout buddies, peer groups help members overcome obstacles, stick with a program, and sustain change. Weight Watchers and Alcoholics Anonymous are famous examples. More than 25,000 Lean In Circles have sprung up in the last few years.
“Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.” - Ellen DeGeneres
One of the main takeaways of a being in a peer group is: have a deep and meaningful conversation with people that really care. People that have no interest in judging you, no interest in your business, no hidden agenda - they are there to help you get better and to support you when you feel down.
“If you are a human, then the biggest influence on your personality is your peer group. Choose your peers. If you want to be better at math, surround yourself with mathematicians. If you want to be more productive, hang out with productive people…” - Mudos Ponens