Leaders in any role and organization need trusted advisors. Are you in a leadership position, do you have trusted advisors or are you a trusted advisor to another leader in your organization.
Why do you need trusted advisors?
First, everyone who reports to you directly or indirectly is in a position to advise you, they are experts in their area and provide advise as part of their role. So who are “trusted advisors”, is this about who you trust and who you don’t trust. NO, this is not about Trust, it is about people who HAVE YOUR BACK. They are people who are looking at things from your perspective, who consider all that they see in respect to how it will impact you as a leader, your area of oversight and ultimately the organization.
These people are key to the success of the business unit that you oversee, and their partnership with you is vital. These people are your eyes and ears, they have the pulse, the heartbeat of the organization and they know how this relates to you and your role, SO LISTEN TO THEM. Don’t just listen, make time for them, draw them into your circle, draw them into strategy, and give them a seat at the table on key issues.
When you are working on strategy, on vision on direction seek them out, get their perspective, I am sure you have many smart, talented people around you, like I do, reach out to them and draw them in to your world.
What if you are a trusted advisor?
So you have come to be a trusted advisor. Does this change who you are, does this impact how you operate, well yes and no. Yes, once people know you have the ear of the leader you are naturally seen as “different”, but should you be different. Whether you are an advisor or not, you need to be who you are, that is a bottom line matter, always be who you are. Who you are as an advisor makes you an advisor. The fact that you are plugged in, connected enhances your ability to be effective as an advisor.
When you are an advisor one of the key elements you need to have for your leader is respect, you need to be humble before your leader, not proud, arrogant or “Full of Yourself”, I slipped up
on this just last week and it wasn’t pretty. You need to park your ego, NO BRAVADO as an advisor, just be yourself, and be purposeful in your advise. Speak when spoken to and respond when your opinion is asked. Never correct your leader for the sake of correction, yes help them from heading off in the wrong direction, but correcting what they are saying must be done with extreme caution. Respect is key in your ability to survive as an advisor. The higher up in the organization you are advising the higher the risk and higher the reward, but remember, its not about the reward, its not about what is in it for you.
It is about what is best for the organization, its people and its objectives.