Significant Advice for Significant Clients

“There are certain things that are fundamental to human fulfillment. The essence of these needs is captured in the phrase;to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy.The need to live is our physical need for such things as food, clothing, shelter, economical well-being, health. The need to love is our social need to relate to other people, to belong, to love and be loved. The need to learn is our mental need to develop and grow. And the need to leave a legacy is our spiritual need to have a sense of meaning, purpose, personal congruence, and contribution.”
From:  “First Things First” – Stephen Covey, Roger & Rebecca Merrill

Trusted Adviser?

Most professionals want their clients to regard and value them as “Trusted Advisers”.

However, 30+ years of training lawyers, accountants, financial planners, wealth managers, and other professional species demonstrates that: (a) the vast majority default to either compliance work or technical advice, and (b) very few implement the mindset change required to become full bottle Trusted Advisers.

The procedural formula for becoming a Trusted Adviser has been common currency for many years – boosted by:  “The Trusted Advisor”, authored by Messrs. Maister, Galford, and Green in 2002 (recently revised).  Their book reflected what most of us understood professional life was supposed to be about when we started our careers.  It even gave us a helpful formula to measure how wide we were of the target in real life after commercial requirements and practical corporate cultures beat our (naïve?) ideals into submission.

When Peter Drucker declared “Culture eats strategy before breakfast” he may have been referring to common practice cultures, where the desire for generous partner distributions (profit) promotes timesheet productivity (quantity) over wise advisory (quality).

With the elongation of life expectancy, many professionals find themselves encouraged to retire when they still have plenty of gas left in the tank.  Add concerns about the general commoditisation of professional services, and the fear that a large chunk of traditionally well-remunerated services are already being devalued by the inhuman intervention of AI (artificial intelligence), and you’ve identified the need for a different paradigm.

Significant Adviser

Enter the concept of Significant Advice for Significant Clients: highly valued, profoundly non-technical advice that sits above, around, and beyond traditional services.  Apart from being a less formal and more satisfying way to work, it’s usually much better remunerated.

Significant Clients include entrepreneurs, business leaders, wealthy families, and family businesses / business families facing personal, familial, and other challenges that aren’t adequately, or at all, addressed through conventional channels.

Significant Advisers provide empathy and wisdom in place of, or in addition to, compliance services and technical solutions.  Clients benefit from 20, 30, or 40+ years of accumulated knowledge and experience, obtained from working with hundreds of clients.

Skilled interpretation becomes genuine wisdom when emotional intelligence is applied to produce good judgement.

Technical wisdom combines knowledge with effective probability analysis (skill) and uses good judgement (skill, again) to determine how to get the best tangible outcomes out of a situation.

Empathic wisdom requires a deep understanding of what makes humans tick (emotional intelligence), and the ability to see, feel, understand, and advise within inter-connected personal, family, and business dimensions (skill).  It enables advisers to help individuals manage risk, enjoy life, build happier families, and create stronger businesses.

This is growth mindset territory for appropriately endowed, motivated, and mature advisers whose latent skills can be honed through collaboration with like-minded thinkers and personalised coaching that places at least as much emphasis on the actual doing (“how”), as on theoretical frameworks (“what”), and practical purposes (“why”).

Live better, love more, learn new skills, and leave a worthwhile legacy, using your own accumulated wisdom, by giving Significant Advice.

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