Funny thing is when it comes to giving and taking advice, we have a proclivity toward giving advice and tend to be less than stellar at taking advice.
Think about when someone else is in a business predicament, a relationship predicament, a financial predicament—you name it. It is so obvious to us what that person should do and we probably hesitate very little to tell that person our solution.
However, when you are in any of the aforementioned predicaments, you likely tell yourself there are always a whole host of things onlookers just can’t possibly understand about the situation.
It’s easy to give advice. Not always so easy to analyze ourselves.
One great way to prime yourself to take good advice is the hotshot rule.
The hotshot rule comes from Kat Cole; she employed her hotshot rule every quarter during her four and a half year tenure as president of Cinnabon. For Cole, this is how the hotshot rule works: Quarterly, she goes someplace to think about the state of the company she leads, and asks herself, "Let's say a hotshot takes over my job today. What two or three things would the hotshot look at and say, 'That's unacceptable'?"
It’s always easy to get complacent, especially during times of great success, but exceptional leaders know that for longterm, sustainable success, you need to fight against creeping complacency.
And the hotshot rule doesn’t just apply to your professional world. Use the hotshot rule in every important aspect of your life. You can ask yourself the hotshot question like . . .
If a hotshot takes over my marriage, what would they say is unacceptable?
If a hotshot came in to advise me as a parent, what would they say is unacceptable?
If a hotshot looked at how I interact with my parents, what would they say is unacceptable?
Etc . . .
Here are 3 steps to use the hotshot rule on your leadership journey:
1. Commit - Commit or recommit to regular self-evaluations. With a predetermined degree of regularity (e.g. quarterly), get by yourself. Get in a quiet, undistracted place—down goes the cell phone, off go the devices. Get alone with your thoughts, so you can be truly honest with yourself.
2. This time it really IS all about you - Ask the hotshot question about yourself.
What would a hotshot tell ME?
Not . . .
What would a hotshot tell my board?
Not . . .
What would a hotshot tell my spouse?
Not . . .
What would a hotshot tell my management team? My business partner? Or my friend?
Again, it's super easy to give advice. Great leaders can and do eagerly self-analyze.
3. Bring in your Kitchen Cabinet - Honest introspection is a must. And to protect yourself from rash decisions, you need to pull in members of your Kitchen Cabinet to advise you on how to proceed with the findings of your hotshot exercise.
You might not need to consult every member of your Kitchen Cabinet, but you should engage key advisors of your brain trust who are relevant to and experienced in the issue at hand.
For more ideas on how to build your own Kitchen Cabinet and when to engage the right members at the right time, download your free copy of my leadership ebook: Who’s In Your Kitchen Cabinet | 10 Ways to Build a Powerful Brain Trust.
Legacy leaders regularly self-evaluate from a holistic perspective. I hope the hotshot rule and my leadership ebook, Who’s In Your Kitchen Cabinet | 10 Ways to Build a Powerful Brain Trust, are valuable tools to help you do just that.
P.S. Remember to get your free copy of Dan Quiggle's leadership ebook, Who’s In Your Kitchen Cabinet | 10 Ways to Build a Powerful Brain Trust.