Ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Do you feel you don’t always get a great return working with your advisors?
- Do you feel your advisors really listen to what you want?
- Do you feel that sometimes your advisors think “you don’t get it?”
- Are you sometimes intimidated by your advisors?
- Do you sometimes feel that you wish you never had started working with an advisor in the first place?
If the answer is yes to any of the above, you aren’t getting all that you could from your advisors. Let’s take a look at some reasons why.
You might think your advisors are smarter than you.
Your outside advisors have definitely had lots of technical training. And in the areas that they’ve been trained they probably have more technical knowledge than you.
That doesn’t mean they’re any smarter than you. In your area of expertise I can promise you that there will be very few advisors who are going to have more knowledge than you.
I can promise you that you have much more expertise on what’s important in your life. You need to own that expertise and not give it away to an advisor.
You don’t want to argue with your advisors.
After all you’re paying your advisors a lot of money. You’re hoping they can help you with a problem or opportunity. If you argue with them you might be afraid you’re not going to get value.
I can almost promise you the opposite will happen if you don’t disagree when it’s appropriate. You need to let your advisors know when they’re off track. If you don’t, how will they ever know that you’re not happy with the results you’re getting?
You’ve never had a great advisor experience.
I would bet there are more business owners in the world that this is true than the opposite. There are some advisors I know that you’ve gotten value from. I also bet there are lots of advisors who you just felt were a waste of time and money.
If you think about the world of advice it’s only logical that 50% will be better than average and 50% less than average. There are also only about 10% in any field who will blow you away.
You need to have a system to find the 10% and let the other 90% service someone else.
You don’t want to look dumb in front of your advisors.
Advisors love to use jargon their industry is comfortable with. If you’re working with a tax attorney they’ll likely quote IRS code sections. If you’re working with a lean manufacturing consultant they’re going to use all sorts of terms that will mean nothing to you.
Instead of stopping your advisor and asking them what they mean, you just nod your head and your advisor thinks you know exactly what they’re talking about.
Don’t do that. Make sure that you stop your advisor and ask them to explain what they mean when they start to wander off into the world of advisor jargon.
You’re not really sure what you want to accomplish.
Before you hire an advisor you need to really think about what it is that you’re trying to accomplish.
If you hire an advisor with the thought that something good is going to come from the engagement, you’re probably wrong. The real key here is to be absolutely clear on what you want to get done and more importantly why this is something that’s useful to do.
When you answer this question you can make sure your advisor stays on track. If your advisor doesn’t have a clear idea about what you’re trying to accomplish there’s a very good chance they’ll make up what you want.
Do you really want an advisor telling you what you want?
At the end of the day you need a system
Hiring an advisor is no different than hiring an employee. I think you should develop a system for hiring advisors that looks a lot like the same system that you use to hire great employees.
Take time to interview your advisors. Make sure they fit in with what you believe. Make sure your advisors are willing to do the activities that you want them to do. Have a system in place to test for technical competence.
One of the roles that I play is I help business owners put together systems for hiring advisors. I find that when we use a system with clear expectations our outcomes are always better.
Are you ready to take the next step and use a system for hiring your advisors? You’ll be glad you did.