No man is your enemy, no man is your friend, every man is your teacher.
It is amazing how in the human race we need others in our lives to some capacity but are still quick to tribe up. What I mean by that is, we will create a small circle of influence and then stick to it no matter if we have outgrown it or even if we find out later that it harms us.
I see this a lot with those that I work with who are from street gangs. They want a better life. They have matured enough to know that this street life will not allow them to reach a single positive goal they want to set for themselves. However, the loyalty built to that "tribe" gang is so strong that often they cannot walk away. In some instances, that circle itself will threaten if a member tries to move away in a pro-social setting. This is just one example of how the human race has not evolved much despite all the technological advancements we have made.
Do not think that this is any different in the corporate world. Stand back outside of a large corporate environment and you will see many smaller groups that have formed for mutual advancement and protection. Let one person try to rise up and move to a higher group, because either he has the capacity or has outgrown the need for the group he is in, and the back stabbing will start. They do not use guns or knives to eliminate the upstart that dares to defy the group mentality, instead they use malicious words, gossip and false accusations. It is the same behavior but with a different weapon. In some ways, a more deadly one because the individual cannot always tell who is gunning for him. At least in a gang, he has a good idea!
The truth is, we as humans all need to grow and realize that no one is really our enemy. There are people that live and think the way we do. There are people who do not. It does not lessen us or them if they live different, think differently or dare to go outside the societal norm. Almost every great achievement in history has required someone to go outside the societal norm. Often, they are outcasts of the very circle that gave birth to their greatness because people fear change. Others will rally around them in hopes that their vision can be brought to fruition. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi are examples of challenging the societal norm.
When we can begin, especially in business, to look at people for what they can teach us, then we can really rise above the petty tribal squabbles of those who stopped growing. Some people will teach you what NOT to do or how NOT to be. Some people will be your mentors. Sometimes, you will excel beyond your mentors and need to develop new ones. This does not devalue your mentor so do not be afraid to keep them in your circle of influence as a friend or someone of value to your growth. Instead just add to your circle a new mentor.
A mentor should be someone that exhibits something that you want. It could be a way of communicating. It could be their values that led them to success. It may be a simple thing such as a peaceful aura even in stressful times that you wish you had. You can have mentors for each thing that you wish to harvest.
As I reread the quote I started with. I cannot think but that it was a very wise person that must have said it. When we in business can truly understand the meaning of those words, we cannot help but to find success.