Musthafa Ebadi
Why you should have trusted advisers in life?
by Musthafa Ebadi on March 26th, 2014

Over the last few days I have been interacting with few people both in my personal and professional circle   to seek their advice on few decisions I have to make over the next few weeks.

In total I have spoken with 3 people on 2 distinct topics, and feel blessed that I have these trusted advisors. I have to admit that before speaking with any of them I had made up my mind on how to proceed in each of situations. I had given both the topics a lot of thought, evaluated pros and cons, and had a good sense of what they will eventually lead to. Then I thought to speak with few people that I knew would give me their unbiased opinion.

It took me few days to be able to connect to all of them and to my surprise they all thought I might not be making a good decision, and they walked me through their thought process and issues that I had blindsided. From being nearly 100% sure on how I will proceed I am in the stage where I am inclined more towards reversing my course of action.
This morning I started to reflect back on the last few weeks and how things have taken a U turn on my plans. Since I have always said that “everything has a why” I started to think why I had change of heart? I quickly realized that its because I am blessed with very few but important people that I call my trusted advisors.  

At times our decisions are based on short term thinking, influenced by immediate circumstances, and impacted by the state of our emotions.

Its critical to have someone that we can confide in who can take a big picture view and help us look at the forest instead of being lost in trees.
They are the people that have our best interest in their heart, will always guide us in the right direction, and will give us their blunt, honest, and unbiased assessment. They are the people that we can trust and value their opinion and people who can have the courage to let us know what they think, and also have the maturity not get offended or feel insulted if at times we don’t take their advice.  Very very hard to come by so I am one of the few people who have such advisors in my personal life as well professional life.

President Bill Clinton is known for a lot of good decisions that he took during his 8 years in the White House, and in his book My Life he illustrates that he would ask his allies (his trusted advisors) for their opinion and advice not to make them feel valued or happy but because he genuinely wanted to understand their view of a particular situation, and include those views in his decision making process.

So what are the keys to build this circle of trusted advisors?

To being with you will have to understand and acknowledge that you don’t know everything and don’t make best decisions all the time. This is the most important point. You will have to have the maturity and wisdom to know that you are not the smartest person out there, and depending on the situation and task at hand someone else has a better judgement, skillset, and experience than you do. If you truly don’t think like that don’t bother reading the rest of this post. It will be a waste of your “valuable” time.

The 2nd more important thing to keep in mind is that these people are rare to find and it takes time for you to find the right ones. You may have to go through few trials (with few people) till you figure out who fits in the descriptions of a trusted advisor. By now you should have an understanding of qualities they have.

Third, you will have to ensure that you value them, respect them, and in situations that you will go against their judgement you let them know ahead of time about your intentions. Like I said earlier they have to be mature to enough to respect that and give guidance next time you call them.

Last but not least value quality over quantity.  You cannot find a lot of people with the qualities described above, and misunderstanding someone that isn’t really unbiased with their guidance for someone who is can have grave consequences for you.  You should have 2 – 4 trusted advisors between your personal and professional life.

For those who know me you know that I am very confident in my abilities and thinking, don’t like to be told, and usually do what I believe is right. However in the last few years I have realized that there is nothing more valuable in your life than to have these trusted advisors.

They help you excel in your life and always help you do the right thing. They make you a better professional, better spouse, offspring, sibling, friend, & better person in general. They are worth pound of gold for each ounce of their weight!  Its great blessing in your life, and if you are someone who cannot think of 2 or 3 people that you can put in that category you are setting yourself up for mediocre life at best.

Think of 2 – 4 people that you can count as your trusted advisors? Do you know who they are? If not start working on building relationships so you can be blessed with them over the next few months!

Thanks for reading! 

As usual comments and disagreements are welcome.

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