Lily Zhang, a Career Development Specialist at MIT, wrote an excellent article, for themuse, The Five People You Need In Your Professional Life. She based it upon something Richard Leider wrote in his book, Life Reimagined. He said:
“The best boards contain a diverse group of people, each of whom plays a different role: a committed listener, who holds up the mirror; a catalyst, who helps you get outside your comfort zone; a connector, who plugs you into other resources, people, and learning opportunities; a task master or trainer, who holds you accountable for doing what you say you’re going to do; and a mentor, who helps you keep your eye on the long view and the big picture.”
I think this is a great list but, for me, it is missing “a critical sixth,” and that is the best friend who is always there for you, always has your back and will never let you down no matter how bad you stumble. I know this will sound a bit idealistic or Pollyannaish to some and maybe it is but I think it is why, for centuries, the learned have said we are fortunate, in life, to have even a handful of best friends.