Whose Opinion Matters

All leaders constantly hear opinions. It seems everyone knows what you should do. When I hear advice I’m always asking myself, “Why should I go with your opinion rather than mine? What makes your opinion better than mine?” Some advisors are arrogant and self-centered; others noble and selfless.

Whose opinion matters? In the end, your opinion matters most, even when you adapt to someone else.

Listen to:

  1. Expertise.
  2. Experience.
  3. Expansion. Perhaps you forgot a major component of the issue. Listen to advisors who bring neglected dimensions to topics.

Four types of advisors who share their opinions:

  1. Agenda driven advisors are in it for themselves. “What’s best for me?”
  2. Organization driven advisors are in it for the organization. “What’s best for the company?
  3. Friendship driven advisors are in it for you. “What’s best for you?”
  4. Big picture advisors consider what’s best for organizations and individuals. “How can everyone win?”

Experience indicates that advisors from category #1 and #2 are most common. Category #4 advisors are rare and prized. Nurture and honor them.


Values are at the core of who you listen to. Advisors who share your values are valuable. Advisors who don’t share your values always distract, dilute, and divert projects and people. They can be right in the wrong way.

Want more: “7 Ways to Identify Great Advice

How do you filter advice?

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