We aren’t meant to forge our leadership journey alone. We need to surround ourselves with good people, people I like to call a Kitchen Cabinet, to speak into our lives.
Good advice is the straightest line and shortest distance between a problem you face and an implemented solution.
To help you progress as a leader, here are 4 ideas for getting the best advice to tackle the challenges you face as a leader:
1. Determine what exactly it is you need advice on.
Rarely is what you think the problem is, the actual problem. So try to narrow your problem down to the germ of it all.
For example, I will have people ask me for advice in their business. They will say something like, ‘Hey, Dan, I need your advice. I have a problem with my sales.’
Sales just isn’t the precise problem. Is it the sales manager? Is it the pricing? Is it the packaging? Is it the training of the sales team?
From there, dig even deeper . . .
Did you hire your brother-in-law to be the sales manger? Oh he doesn’t really have any sales experience? He’s not the best at leading a team?
Now we’re getting somewhere.
Try to figure out the root of the problem before you ask for advice.
Also know, when you are ready to ask for advice, you want to ask advice of someone who will ask you probing and revealing questions to get to the real root of the problem.
2. Ask advice from people who are humble enough to admit to making mistakes, wise enough to learn from mistakes, and gracious enough to share their experience.
You want advice from successful people who want to see you succeed. Only the real leaders, whose advice is worth their weight in gold, will share their failures and how they recovered from those failures.
You obviously don’t want advice from a train wreck. But you don’t want advice from someone who can’t admit to mistakes and mishaps.
3. Get a perspective on a problem that is different from your own.
I’m not trying to be political. I just want to share with you how I consume news.
I don’t watch or read news that confirms my own viewpoint because I already believe a certain way on an issue. Listening to “my side” and only to people who share my perspective doesn't stretch me and doesn’t help me grow.
The more I’m willing to hear other perspectives, the more I learn there aren’t just two sides to every story or every issues or every problem, there are twenty-two thousand (plus!) sides.
We can all benefit from approaching problems with an understanding that nuance does exist. And if we are respectful and respectable, we can learn something about ourselves from a different perspective.
4. Advice should help you make a decision, not tell you what the decision should be.
As a young man, when I asked my dad for advice, he would always tell me, ‘Dan, I’ll give you just enough rope to hang yourself.’
He helped me grow as a person and as a leader because he would help me discover how to make the decision myself and not just tell me what to do. Put people in your corner who will help you discover your own solution and don't expect them to tell you want to do.
For more guidance on how to create your own Kitchen Cabinet, get great advice, and how to close that gap between problems and solutions, download your free copy of my leadership ebook: Who’s In Your Kitchen Cabinet | 10 Ways to Build a Powerful Brain Trust.
Understanding how to get better advice from people you let speak into your life will equip you to be a solution-oriented leader.
And this leadership ebook if my gift to you, to empower you to lead with purpose, direction, and optimism.