The Advice Leaders Need But Often Reject

The things you know affirm what you’ve done. But advice that seems wrong has the power to change your leadership.

Advice disrupts.

Cats gardening.

The richest possible life includes advice-seeking.


The richest possible life includes advice-seeking.

Advice-seeking is listening for disruptive ideas.

Sometimes I say I want advice, but mostly I want affirmation.

Seeking advice is seeking disconfirmation, not affirmation.

Affirmation instills confidence but doesn’t ignite change.

Explore disconfirming advice. Don’t reject it.

Some leaders are too arrogant to seek advice. Arrogance needs to know because it’s veiled insecurity. You can’t receive advice when you need to know.

Success often hinges on disconfirming advice.

Lousy advisors:

  1. Can’t escape their own life to get into yours.
  2. Offer quick answers. Excitement to spew advice makes a lousy advisor.
  3. Have the gift of knowledge. Incompetent advisors have answers and advice on any topic. Know-it-alls are lousy advice-givers.
  4. Never adapt or reconsider. (An expression of #3 above.)


I know people who would love to be advisors but haven’t developed the skill of advice-giving. They might help, but probably won’t.

‘Be yourself’ is bad advice if it causes you to not seek advice. Authenticity is a destructive sham when you reject the voice of others. You become yourself in community, not isolation.

Take notes. Writing slows the pace of conversations. Note taking demonstrates respect. Plus, writing is thinking.

Teaching is useful, but too generic to be considered advice. Advisors tailor guidance to recipients. True advisors know you and respect your aspirations.

Life is too short to rely on personal experience. Skillful advice-seekers learn from the experience of others.

Ask yourself, “What happens if I don’t implement this advice?”, when you receive disconfirming advice.


Dedicate a week to advice-seeking. (I did.)

What do you look for in an advisor?

What’s some of the best advice you’ve received?

Bonus material:

The John Wooden Way: 5 Lessons (Plus What if Your Mentor seems Wrong) | Leadership Freak

Seven Ways to Spot Advice You Should Follow | Leadership Freak

Image source: Cat Cats Kitten – Free photo on Pixabay