7 Signs of a Trusted Advisor

A trusted advisor can be an invaluable multiplier of your decision making process. A trusted advisor can keep you focused on your sense of purpose and unlock additional potential in you; help you to identify and focus on a vision when you don’t have one, and give you courage to pursue it when you do; simplify a complicated scenario; and make you “walk the line” when you are about to make a bad decision, particularly when your character could be questioned.  

So, what are the seven signs you have a trusted advisor? 

  1. Attitude: You know you have a trusted advisor when they are steady, firm, not self-absorbed, and “forward leaning” in their approach to issues.
  2. Affable: You know you have a trusted advisor when they are approachable and comfortable talking with anyone, from the CEO to the mailroom clerk.
  3. Available: You know you have a trusted advisor when they are never too busy to help you deal with an important issue.
  4. Attentive: You know you have a trusted advisor when they are perceptive, receptive, and listen carefully and then opine.
  5. Adaptable: You know you have a trusted advisor when they are flexible, resilient, and comfortable in dynamic situations.
  6. Accountable: You know you have a trusted advisor when they are uncompromising in their integrity, discrete, and always “speak truth to power.” 
  7. Authentic: You know you have a trusted advisor when they routinely do their homework to back up their advice and show presence — that is, demonstrate a confident (not arrogant) “air” in the way they carry themselves.

Whether you rely on your trusted advisor on a routine basis or just when you are faced with challenging, multi-faceted issues, a trusted advisor can help you develop a more balanced view. 

Rear Admiral Steve Branham, USCG (retired) is a founding partner of 3ethos with founder and CEO Don Trone and co-founder Mary Lou Wattman. He is a former CFO of the U. S. Coast Guard and Commander of the 7th Coast Guard District. Don and Mary Lou are the co-authors of the recently released book, LeaderMetrics®: What Key Decision-makers Need to Know When Serving in a Critical Leadership Role

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