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5 Types of People to Have in Your Huddle

By February 13, 2024February 15th, 2024Food for thought, Guest Blogs, Purposeful Living

By Bill Kleis

Dr. Kent Pekel, superintendent of Rochester Public Schools, previously served as CEO of Search Institute, a nonprofit that promotes positive youth development and advances equity through research and practical solutions. I was intrigued by a 2022 address he delivered to graduating high school students about the five types of people they should have in their huddle as they go through life.

He suggests:

• Someone who really cares about you—someone to whom you really matter, who you can depend on, who believes in you
• Someone who will challenge your growth—they push you to keep getting better, they set high expectations for you, and they insist you take responsibility for your actions
• Someone who provides support—they help you figure things out and they stand up for you when you need it
• Someone who shares power with you—they treat you with respect and give you a say in decisions that affect your life; they give you voice and choice, and they let you lead
• Someone who expands your possibilities—someone who introduces you to new people, new places, new ways of being in the world

I’m not sure how well my granddaughter was listening when we heard Dr. Pekel’s address, but I not only listened; I took it to the next level. I spent a few weeks listing contact information for all the people who have met three or more of these criteria in my life. There are 62 living and 15 who have died—I have been very blessed. It was a beautiful exercise and I highly recommend it.

When I die, an email will be sent to the people in my huddle who are still living. It will include a note from me, thanking them one last time and giving them permission to contact each other if they want to share a story, since many of them do not know each other. For now, I use the list as a way to remember to keep in touch and show appreciation.

Lately, I have had to move a few more names from the living column. The good news is that I can do this with no regrets about things I didn’t say.

Who’s in your huddle?

Bill Kleis is retired psychologist who lives in Rochester, Minnesota, and part of the End in Mind community.

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