My mother used to say, “If you hang around with dogs, you’re bound to get some of their fleas.” Likewise, association breeds assimilation in the positive direction. No matter what the desired needs of the group, people will bind themselves to the chemistry and system of whatever group they are placed. My main focus with the rookie members of any team is to place them with those older role models who will constructively teach them and guide their efforts. Unfortunately, if the leader is a bad one, a good ship can go down.
The Christian men’s group, “Promise Keepers” has a great concept about mentoring. As described in some of their programs, each person should have three types of friends in their lives: a Paul, a Barnabus, and Timothy. This means that for the most growth to take place in one’s life, it is important to have someone good above you as a teacher (a Paul). It is equally important to have someone important in you life who is on an equal status and will hold you accountable for doing the right thing even the pressure is on (a Barnabus). He or she provides a tough-love friendship, because sometimes our vision gets foggy on the way up a tough mountain. Finally we need to consider the importance of being a teacher ourselves – passing on the truths that are critical for success and a good life. We need to pick someone who we mentor to (a Timothy). These three people – Paul, Barnabus and Timothy – are all taken from scripture and illustrate a fantastic concept for learning at any level and for any challenge.