This past year I took a big leap and made the decision to reinvent myself. As a small business owner, I knew I was meant to make a direct impact on people’s lives. Three years of running a specialty furniture business taught me countless lessons, but it was missing the opportunity to develop people in a way I knew I was made to offer.
Before owning a business, I trained leaders with a non-profit, and loved the work. I was looking to do something similar yet in a different direction, and I needed the advice of other men. I turned to two men who have worked for years in consulting and leadership development. One is a peer, the other could be my father.
For the past 6 months, they’ve been helping me learn about this line of work. Friendships grew with both men, and they affirmed my strengths for developing leaders. I’m now working with an emerging national leadership consultancy. As I’m growing in this field, our friendships have paced right along.
Over the years, crucial junctures in my life have turned out for the better because of the advice of other men whose wisdom was worth hearing. If you’re in need of advice, doing the following can help you get the most out of those conversations:
1. Seek out someone you trust for their character and respect for their expertise. If they’ve proven themselves in the area you need help with, they will have more to offer than someone you know who just has an opinion.
2. Go out of your way to make time to fit into their schedule, and offer to take them to breakfast or lunch if that works for them.
3. Make a list of the questions you need answering, and bring them to your meeting.
4. Plan on listening a lot, and if you’re the talkative type, make a conscious effort to let the other person do the talking.
5. After the meeting, thank them, and then determine what decisions need to be made and what actions need to be taken.
Because of the advice I’ve received from my two friends, I am much more confident about my decision and am walking in the wisdom of best practices they passed onto me. Acting on their input, I believe I have a much greater chance at success.
Are you are in need of the advice of other men? Who do you know in your life that fits the above criteria? Reach out to them and ask if you can meet. Prepare for your conversation, and determine what you need to do next with the wisdom they give you.
Who are the men that you can reach out to for advice today?
Photo Credit: Antony Stanley