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The Trusted Strategic Advisor’s Manifesto Part 10

Ten Areas for Serious Personal and Professional Consideration and Reflection

Trusted Strategic Advsior's Manifesto

First, Change Your Mindset and Your Entire Philosophy of Work

Six Relationship Killer Mistakes You Can Avoid:

1). Withhold information: Destroys trust, encourages avoiding you and your advice. Of all the staff functions, public relations practitioners are most frequently guilty of this behavior. The boss always knows and often delays or stops their calls to you.

2). Shielding the boss from other advisors, consultants and voices: When there’s trouble, look for voices the boss should/would like to hear. Break down the barriers and get them together. Do they have a favorite business author? Put them together for lunch. Do they have a favorite business commentator or academic? Get them together. Which peers should they be talking to? It’s easier than you think. The point is, especially when there’s trouble, bosses reach out for all the information they can possibly get and more. Be the one who shatters the ring of staff protection that forms around and isolates top people. That ring tends to hide malfeasance, disloyalty, unethical behaviors and other bad things that will surface sometime, especially during times of trouble.

3). Pushing ideas that the boss will never do: A good rule to have about pushing ideas is if the boss doesn’t start doing it within ten days, give it up. You have lots more ideas anyway, pick another one. Unless what they are doing is illegal, immoral, unethical, monumentally stupid or wasteful, then you have a decision to make about working for them. Adults rarely change, even in catastrophe. It’s their bus, they get to do what they want. So, give it up after 10 days. If it doesn’t matter to them, why should it matter to you? Whose bus is it? All too often I hear senior people complain about their bosses not listening or refusing to change. They don’t have to. Get over it. Senior practitioners often stay on, mistakenly thinking they can change the person they work for. Fool’s errand. These people are adults often knowingly making bad decisions. They won’t change. Find another bus.

How to quickly test the value of an idea (Before you open your mouth). If it fails to meet all these criteria, move on:

  1. Helps the boss achieve his or her objectives and goals.
  2. Helps the organization achieve its goals.
  3. If a and b are yes, ask yourself: Is the idea still truly necessary.
  4. Keeps money.
  5. Makes money.
  6. Saves money.
  7. Aspects of the business will fail or not progress without your suggestion.

4). Lying: The ultimate trust buster. If you’re really good, you might be forgiven the first time. If you’re not really good, better get your resume and resignation letter prepared quickly. Being a trusted strategic advisor requires candor, honesty, and truthfulness.

5). Being “Chicken Little”: Very few problems that managers and leaders face are crises. But every crisis is a serious business, leadership and organizational problem. Take a break before ever using the word “crisis.” Then tell it like it is.

Key ingredients of a crisis:

  • People stopper
  • Show stopper
  • Product stopper
  • Reputation redefining event(s)
  • Create victims (people, animals, living systems)
  • Explosive visibility (but not always)

6). Disloyalty: PSSSSST, here’s what they know you are doing:

  • Criticizing, badmouthing or whining about management behind they back.
  • Complaining about their inability to adequately recognize your inherent talent, insight and general smartness.
  • Holding back key information you should be sharing (or so they imagine, it is rarely the case).
  • Talking solutions but delivering only tactical ideas without really knowing the business problems the organization and its leaders face. They already know all 14 public relations tactics.
  • Being vocally disappointed that some of your best advice is regularly ignored but you fail to speak up in meetings. When you do speak up its more an expression of exasperation than an offer of simple, sensible, doable, meaningful, constructive and positive advice.

Author’s Note: Read The Trusted Strategic Advisor’s Manifesto – Parts 1 and 2 HERE, Parts 3, 4, and 5 HERE, Part 6 HERE, and Parts 7 and 8 HERE and Part 9 HERE

By: James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, Fellow IABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, BEPS Emeritus, America’s Crisis Guru

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