Principles are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life.
Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, cites principles as his key to success.
You will have to get over your reluctance to assess what people are like if you want to surround yourself with people who have the qualities you need. That goes for yourself too. People almost always find it difficult to identify and accept their own mistakes and weaknesses. Sometimes it's because they're blind to them, but more often it's because their egos get in the way. Most likely your associates are equally reluctant to point out your mistakes, because they don't want to hurt you. You all need to get over this. More than anything else, what differentiates people who live up to their potential from those who don't is their willingness to look at themselves and others objectively and understand the root causes standing in their way.