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Why Should the Boss Listen to You?

• “Had they asked me, we could have avoided that dumb series of mistakes.”
• “The boss has blind spots and deficiencies.”

The mind-set these comments reveal is quite common, says Jim Lukaszewski in his book, Why Should the Boss Listen to You?, but this sort of approach will always get in the way of your becoming a trusted advisor.

Who doesn’t want to be noticed? Get ahead? Who doesn’t want to be asked in on decisions before they are made? Lukaszewski says that it is largely a matter of perspective. According to Lukaszewski, it is imperative that you “set aside all your staff-based assumptions and orient your life, your thinking, and your recommendations to the perspectives, viewpoints, and issues of those you advise.” You need to learn to work from a much broader perspective.

Lukaszewski describes how leaders think and operate and why this is important to the trusted advisor. At the core of this book, he presents a seven-discipline approach to becoming a strategic trusted advisor.
  1. Be Trustworthy: Trust is the first discipline and the foundation for a relationship between advisor and leader or boss.
  2. Become a Verbal Visionary: The leader's greatest skill is verbal skill, and the leader’s advisor must also have powerful verbal skills.
  3. Develop a Management Perspective: To be a management advisor is to be able to talk more about the boss’s goals and objectives than about whatever your staff function happens to be.
  4. Think Strategically: One of the great realities of management is that the leader’s job is always about tomorrow, and almost never about yesterday.
  5. Be a Window to Tomorrow: Understand and use the power of patterns. A sophisticated advisor is one who can forecast tomorrow with some level of accuracy.
  6. Advise Constructively: Giving advice starts where the boss is and where he or she has to go (where the advisor is or has been).
  7. Show the Boss How to Use Advice: If you want to see your recommendations come alive, teach the boss how to accept and use advice.
His advice is clearly written and right on. He writes, “The counselor’s prime directive is always to look at the questions, issues, opportunities, and vulnerabilities from the boss’s perspective first, and to test all advice against the leader’s perspective. This approach leads to better, more useable advice, more quickly.”

Posted by Michael McKinney at 12:05 AM
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