Thoughts on Life & Leadership

A Junto Strategy Project

Wrong Lesson #1: Giving advice is easy, living by it is not

I remember that when my wife and I first got married we would often talk about having a family. We would look around at others struggling with their kids and shake our heads and wonder what were they thinking. If those struggling parents had been smart enough to ask us for some advice, I could have given them some great nuggets.

World's best parents?

World’s best parents?

Well…then I had kids and all that great advice all that great “consulting” I could have done with those parents who “just didn’t seem to get it” – that’s right, down the toilet.

At various times in my career I have been in a consulting type role – sometimes as an internal consultant and other times as a paid external consultant. As I look back at those times, I realize that I was never so smart as when I was in consultant mode. The wisdom and great advice just flowed. I knew exactly what to do. I could see the problem clearly as well as the solution. I gave some great direction during those engagements and based on some of the results I was able to help my clients realize, the advice worked well.

Fast forward to a different role where I am now wrestling with a problem in my current role and I look around and realize that if I would just take some of my own advice I’d be a lot better off. But I am quickly realizing that it’s not that easy.

As it relates to my consulting guru author, he had some great ideas in his book, some great theories, some great words of wisdom, but when it came to living it he’s in the Lyall parenting camp. This does not mean that I should flat out dismiss what is in his book. I still think he provides some great information. Rather it was a good lesson for me that before giving anyone else advice, I should stop and do a little humility check to evaluate my intentions and my own personal alignment (behavior wise) with the advice I’m thinking of “blessing” that individual with.

Odds are I’ll have a greater impact with a listening ear than a talking mouth.

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This entry was posted on August 22, 2013 by in Personal Reflections, Wrong Lessons and tagged , , , , , , , .

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