Are you looking for a great business advisor? Here are some tips on how to find and work with one.
Finding a Business Advisor
You should measure the advisors that you meet in three categories. These are talent, experience, and chemistry.
All too often I’ve seen people select an advisor, mentor, or coach based on what they know. However, there's a lot more to it.
A good advisor is talented enough to know how to apply their knowledge for maximum effect.
An advisor who understands and aligns with your organization’s culture and core values will be much more effective, even if they challenge the status quo.
One way to find and vet a business advisor is to ask people that you trust.
Who did they hire that was effective?
When you talk to an advisor candidate, assess how curious he or she is about you and your business.
Have others in your company spend time interviewing that person, especially if they will work together.
Take note on the quality of the questions that they ask. Do they focus on uncovering and diagnosing problems? Did they clearly demonstrate their process for solving problems? Did they tell stories and give examples of where they’ve solved the same problems in other organizations?
Consider hiring the advisor for a probationary period to validate their value and ability to integrate well with you and/or your team.
Also, establish KPIs to measure the success of the advice that was provided!
Working with a Business Advisor
A good advisor should be able to pivot during their engagement with you.
This might involve going slightly outside of the original scope of work to allow for unexpected situations.
A good advisor should use a “train-the-trainer” model to transfer knowledge and make you self-reliant through the creation of “internal champions.” The development of new leaders is critical to the sustainability of business.
We’ve all heard of the expression: you can’t do it alone.
Having an advisor gives you the encouragement and wisdom to continue building on your vision. They help you keep going. They help you deal with obstacles, strategy, and tactics.
A good advisor becomes an invaluable part of the team. They start by doing a lot of heavy lifting, but should recognize from the very beginning that the heavy lifting needs to be transferred to the mentee once they are capable and ready.
Make sure to check out our eBook on the difference between business advisors, coaches, and mentors, and how you can best work with each.