Learning to lead leaders

You may not be the king but you can learn how to influence kings.

All leaders have trusted advisors who influence their thinking, attitudes, and decisions. William Wallace captured the power of influence by saying, “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” You can become the voice that influences the world by influencing leaders.

10 ways to become a trusted advisor

#1 – Always speak the truth, especially when it runs counter to current thinking. Your value is in your ability to “think otherwise.”

#2 – Understand the difference between being honest and being adversarial. Lobbying for your position isn’t the same as painting someone into a black or white decision.

#3 – Give personal support by understanding the unique pressures and challenges of being in the place where the buck stops. Be a person who pops the cork on pressure rather than creating it.

#4 – Within legal and ethical boundaries extend complete loyalty.

#5 – Become a broad minded expert. Experts who can’t see beyond their own field or department minimize their value.

#6 – Choose your king carefully. Unworthy kings already know “too” much, speak to frequently, and listen too little. Rule out kings who don’t ask questions, don’t interact well, and never change their mind.

#7 – Understand office, departmental, and corporate politics.

#8 – Make their vision your vision. You won’t enter this realm fighting for a personal agenda unless your agenda is helping the king succeed.

#9 – Honor the position even when you disagree with the decision.

#10 – Be the person who can hear what others can’t hear. If it makes you feel good to let others know how much you know, don’t enter this realm.


Can you list other ways to earn the ear of the king? Can you further explain something on the list of 10?


Leadership Freak

Dan Rockwell