The higher one rises in management, the more difficult it is to locate and be helped by people committed to your interests, needs and goals. Lots of competing agendas near the top.
Senior people and leaders are constantly in search of:
- Individuals with common sense
- Individuals with a sense of humor
- Individuals with their ears to the ground
- Individuals who can tell which way the wind will blow
- People who can spot the stinkers, fakers and charlatans
- Iconoclasts, rule breakers and productive mistake makers
- Pragmatists to help control the inherent over-optimism of leadership
- True strategists; inconsistent, purposefully different, looking out the wrong end of the telescope on purpose
- People who can find and tell the truth, first and fast
Where do you fit among these categories? Few people have all of these attributes but most all these traits can be learned. And, an even bigger question for you: Are you willing to change yourself for the benefit of others to become a trusted strategic advisor?
One of the most intriguing aspects of being a Trusted Strategic Advisor (TSA) is developing the habit and the skill of looking at the world through their boss’s eyes. Then, helping their boss see their world more clearly.
The lesson is that whatever your area of special expertise, chances are the boss needs more from you, beyond your knowledge base. The boss may ignore your advice, meaning different advice or other kinds of advice are needed. Will you expand you vision and thinking beyond what you came with?
Among the greatest skills of a Trusted Strategic Advisor is the ability to anticipate the direction of leadership thinking and be ready to walk down that road very quickly or block it to go in a better direction.
One of the great irritations of management is an advisor or consultant who persists in suggesting similar concepts to those just rejected rather than recognizing when an entirely new and unexpected perspective is needed.
The TSA’s working principles are:
- Always say things that matter.
- Say less but make your messages more important.
- Talk to time; three minute bursts, 450 words
- Write less but make your words powerful and compelling.
- Write to time; one page, one side; beginning to end, 450 words.
- Suggest less. New ideas are less valuable than getting yesterday’s lingering problems solved.
- Be worth hearing because you are memorable.
- Be memorable because you provide crucial, incremental, achievable options from which they choose.
- Provide three options every time: do nothing, do something, do something more
- They choose the option, unless they choose to do something else. It’s their bus.
Register today for the Communitelligence Workshop: The Seven Disciplines of a Trusted Strategic Advisor. It’s four, 1-hour weekly sessions in April. Learn how to become a #1 #2. See the full schedule below:
- April 6: The Mindset of a Strategic Advisor
- April 13: Thinking as a Strategic Advisor
- April 20: Giving Advice Successfully
- April 27: Supporting as a Strategic Advisor
Purchase individual sessions for $99 or the complete course for $350.