It’s easy for leaders, especially when up against a deadline, to make decisions without first getting advice from a few people. People who consistently approach their life and decision making responsibilities with wisdom will always involve others and let the advice they receive shape their decisions.
The leadership principle for each of us to remember is “All of us are smarter than one of us.” As we look for wise counsel and advice to fuel our future decisions we may want to ask the following three people for their thoughts because each of them will give us something different to think about.
1. Four Corner People: They Give Us Perspective
Interview four different people standing on the four different corners of an intersection where an accident just occurred and you will get four different stories about what happened. The simple reason is they each witnessed the event from their own unique point of view. We ask four corner people for advice because they give us perspective to proceed.
2. Strong Opinion People: They Give Us Power
Often times you won’t need to ask these people for their advice, they give it to you regardless. The reason why strong opinion people are great people to ask for help is they don’t care what you think. They will tell you what they think no matter what. Kind of refreshing, isn’t it? You get their advice without any political agenda or filter. We ask strong opinion people for their advice because they give us power to proceed.
3. Touchy Feely People: They Give Us Passion
People who are great at spreadsheets and analytical thinking are obvious choices when asking for advice but what about the people who live life with passionate emotion? These folks give you the feeling to what you are asking, not just the facts. They help us feel the weight of our impending decision. We ask touchy feely people for advice because they give us passion to proceed.
Now that you have an idea of a few people to ask for advice the question becomes, “What do you want to get out of it?” Here are three actions we can take along with the results we can expect when seeking wise counsel.
1. Listen & Learn
A wise person will listen and continue to learn, and an understanding person will gain direction. Proverbs 1:5 GW
2. Ask & Accept
Where there is no guidance, the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory. Proverbs 11:14 NASB
3. Seek & Succeed
Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many counselors bring success. Proverbs 15:22 NLT
This is a great story told by Dave McPherson of Maranatha Bible Church in New Orleans. “A U.S. Air Force transport plane with its captain and five crew members was flying over Alaska in the mid-50s when they entered an unusually fierce snowstorm. The navigator contacted an air base only to be told that he had veered several hundred miles off course. Correct coordinates were given to the navigator but he ignored the advice and continued to insist that his own calculations could not be that far off.
Soon the plane ran low on fuel and the six man crew decided to abandon the plane and parachute to safety, but because of the -70 degree Fahrenheit temperature and winds that gusted to 50 mph, they were all frozen within minutes of hitting the ground. A friend of mine was part of the rescue team that discovered and retrieved the bodies three days later. As a result of the navigator's insistence on is way being the right way he and five other people went to their deaths. The results may not always be so dramatic, but we must all be careful to seek the counsel of of wise individuals before making decisions of lasting significance.”
Do you have any important decisions to make in the near future? What is it? Have you asked for advice from wise people? Which is most important for you right now, to Listen & Learn, Ask & Accept or Seek & Succeed?
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lars_in_japan/4979135409