Earlier this week I was fortunate to
have lunch with my Director of Sales and someone he considers his “trusted
advisor”. It was a bit of a spot check
for my guy to make sure he was keeping his confidence in a time where sales
were getting a bit tough. The conversation over lunch was fantastic and
everyone agreed that a little pep talk can go a long way.
I’ve been thinking about this meeting
all week. Even this morning, an unseasonably cool August Saturday morning when
I should be thinking about my plans for the day, I find myself thinking about
this meeting again. Although brief in the grand scheme of a week of
productivity, it reignited many feelings I hold personally about “trusted
advisors”, and so I wanted to share a few with you.
I find the term, in and of itself, to
be unique. We are all advised from time-to-time. We had academic advisors in
college. We have financial planning advisors helping us save for our children’s
college education. We have spiritual advisors. We have health & wellness
advisors. But what is it about adding the word “trusted” in front of advisor.
To me it is someone that encapsulates all of the above and so much more.
I’ve had several “trusted advisors” in
my life. For example, as I moved through high school, then into college, and beyond
throughout my career, I’ve defined my father as a “trusted advisor”. He has a
legal background, was a coach, has served on many a board, has donated his
time-talent-treasures many times over, has been married for 45 years, and
continues to this day to be a phone call away to hear me out, discuss an issue,
and give the issue thoughtful and careful consideration before ultimately
offering his advice. He is a “trusted advisor” because “he’s been there and
There are a few others in my life that
I hold in similar regard. A good friend that I can turn to when I am struggling
with a decision at home. A colleague that balances my sales knowledge with his
technical knowledge. So, who do you have?
If you’ve read some of my previous
posts you’ll know I refer to ‘A’ level sales people quite often. Here is
another example where I cannot think of any ‘A’ level sales person that does
not have a “trusted advisor”. You should too. Finding someone to call your “trusted
advisor” does not need to be a difficult process. It may be someone that you
interact with daily. It may be a parent or an uncle. It may be a former teacher
or coach. No matter what, here are a few things to consider when seeking out
such a person: they should have an understanding of your career goals and
mission; they should have a similar background in business (or other like
career); their personal lives should also be similar; and, they should be a bit
older (and hopefully wiser) than you.
It is a combination of these traits
that will provide you with a person that can give you the best advice because
they understand you and the situation you face. They’ve most likely been there
before. And most importantly, their success is a path you can see yourself on.