A Sanity Check

I recently retraced my steps for 15 minutes, looking for a hair clip that was still on my head — no joke.  During my search, I walked by a number of people who tried to help me find the clip, but it took my friend to understand the problem enough to truly help me. How did he do it?  He listened, and as he listened, he looked at me.  And when he looked at me, he noticed that the hair clip wasn’t on the ground, it was on my head!

Now you know there has to be a lesson in there somewhere, and I’m sure you can come up with a few of your own, but my takeaway was about trusted advisors.  You see the people who were trying to help me were very happy and willing to follow my instructions, because I thought I knew what they needed to do.  In general, as a leader, it is important to have clear directions like this for the rest of your organization.  However, in this particular case, my instructions were not achieving my objective of finding the hair clip.   So, also as a leader, it is important to clearly define your goals, so that your support team will help you be successful.  In other words, instead of saying, “I lost my hair clip, can you help me find it?”  I should have given a bit more context, “My hair clip seems to have fallen out of my hair, can you help me?”

I don’t want this to start sounding silly with my analogy, but the reality is that many leaders are convinced that theirs is the right way to do something.  Now that may indeed be true, but I suggest that it never hurts to have occasional conversations to test the validity of these plans.

Good leaders are visionaries, and they generally excel at strategic plans.   Good leaders can also be strong in devising and implementing operational plans, to execute on their visions.  Sometimes though, one leader cannot be good at both strategy and execution.  That’s when a leader needs some trusted advisors:

  1. These people need to be viable with their types of experiences and areas of expertise.
  2. They also need to be confident enough in their roles that voicing their opinions will not jeopardize their relationships with the leader.
  3. These need to be people who will not make your leader defensive; you must be able to listen and digest what these advisors have to say.
  4. Your advisors must be trustworthy, for they might see your leader’s vulnerable side, and this should not be interpreted as a weakness.

Effective trusted advisors can be found on strong leadership teams, but in my experience, they’re often not, because executive teams seems to foster more of an employer/employee mentality.  There’s also an opportunity for a Board of Directors but, again, often the members on this type of board have their own agendas.  This then leaves a great opportunity for a Board of Advisors.  It’s your best bet as a leader, and remember why you need these advisors:  They’re going to help you and your organization embrace your vision.  That’s why you started this business in the first place, isn’t it?

Please take the time to thank or find your trusted advisors.  And, as all leaders need support, feel free to use our team in that capacity.  We look forward to helping you build on your vision.

 

All my best,
Aruna

 

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