Sorting The Wheat From The Chaff When It Comes To Leadership Advice

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When you become a leader, everyone will have an opinion about what you’re trying to do. We’re all closest leaders, after all, waiting to have our say. All your friends who never had the guts to go it alone will soon come out of the crack. Even people that you don’t know will likely try to point you in one direction or another. It can be overwhelming and annoying, and you may want to block your ears to the lot.

Man in a business suit drinking coffee

Photo by Andrew Neel

Sadly, turning away from all the advice you receive is never going to end well. A wise business leader is one who accepts that they don’t know everything. How can they? Instead, you should gobble up advice like you haven’t eaten in a year. These snippets of information, no matter who they come from, could make your business work. These people are on the outside, after all. There’s a pretty good chance that they have a much clearer view of what you’re trying to do than even you do. And, if they hit upon a critical revelation at the right time, they alone could end up being the reason your business soars.

Don’t make the mistake, though, of thinking that means you need to accept all the advice offered to you along the way. There are, undeniably, going to be a good few gems in there somewhere. But, there’s also going to be a load of rubbish advice which you would be crazy to take onboard.

The question you should be asking yourself is, how do you know which advice to discard, and which to take on board? It’s the million dollar question, and it’s crucial that you find an answer as soon as possible. To help you out a bit, we’re going to look at a few key considerations for the next piece of advice that someone gives you.

What is their standing in their field?

Firstly, it’s always worth considering the standing of the person in question. Your old neighbor Gary may mean well but, let’s face it; he knows nothing about what you’re doing. As such, there’s a pretty high chance that his advice won’t hit the mark. By comparison, people with high levels of respect in their field might have a better idea. Influencers, for instance, are a pretty sure bet for sound business advice. How else would they have achieved the standing that they have? If you’re looking for recruitment advice, it doesn’t get much better than the snippets handed out by hr influencers. Equally, an influential figure high up in your chosen area is unlikely to get things wrong. If in doubt, check out their social media. The sheer amount of followers they have should be a pretty good guide on the value of their advice.

Does the advice stick with you?

We all know that advice we struggle to shake tends to be pretty good. Even if you’re tempted to discard it, you can bet it’s worth implementing if you can’t stop obsessing about it after the event. This is the case even if you think it’s a ludicrous suggestion at the time. It may just be that the person in question has hit on your weakness. Your first reaction will be that they’re wrong. But, the mere fact that you can’t forget what they’ve said disproves that. If you’re still thinking about a piece of advice a week later, then, it’s probably pointing you towards something you need to address. Even if you’re reluctant to admit as much.

two men sitting on a yellow couch

Have you heard the same thing more than once?

One piece of bad advice is unlikely to come around to you more than once. If someone is way off the mark with their suggestion, why would someone else pick up on that same thing? If you’ve heard the same advice more than once, then, it’s pretty likely that there’s something to it. Either that or your advisors are conspiring against you. Even if you discarded advice off the bat, you should take stock if it keeps coming your way again. You don’t need to take the whole thing on board if you don’t want to. Still, selecting tips which you can work with may be enough to see you overcoming issues you’ve been ignoring.

Taking advice about something which matters this much can be tough. You may be reluctant to even consider outside suggestions. But, no entrepreneur is an island. Only by letting other people in can you build your empire on solid foundations.

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