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How to create a trusted circle as a leader?

Trusted circle
Trusted circle

You are a leader who finds it lonely at the top.

When you are in doubt, who would you turn to for counsel?

Who can tell you that you are wrong without fear?

Anyone to give you tough love?

All this without judging your capability?

It's hard, you may think.

In your day-today life, you are surrounded by more "Yes" sayers than "No", that it is easy to feel 'always right'.

You find that truth when it reaches you is coloured. You wish someone shows you reality - from where change is possible. But who is this someone? or is it more than one? What if they judge you as incapable or lose respect for you ? It's normal to have this racing thoughts.

A group of people who ground you without judging you, needs to be consciously cultivated.

While we find ourselves at ease when we cultivate people who cherish us, to boost our morale, to pick us up when we fall down, its equally important to cultivate people who can show us the mirror, tell us we are not God's gift to mankind and yet hold us with respect.

There are three archetypes that could possible bring in the grounding with respect & non-judgement and form your trusted circle:

Three archetypes mentor advisor coach
Three archetypes mentor advisor coach
  1. Advisors

  2. Mentors

  3. Coaches

The common denominator in all of the above roles are:

  • listening

  • lack of fear/ repercussion

  • selflessness

  • being a confidant

The difference in the roles is in the process that they employ to bring in the grounding as below.

  1. Mentor

A mentor is someone who guides you from their own experience of doing something similar to what you are doing.

They key skills they use to guide are knowledge, application & vision.

They can easily spot your blind spots from experience. They can also talk about accelerators that could help you move towards your goal faster.

Mentors ideally belong to the same functional domain or technology to be able to guide you with knowledge. Accountability to what you discovered in the conversation with your mentor is your responsibility.


2. Advisor

An advisor is someone who gives potential solutions to your need/ problem.

They are knowledge focussed. They add industry & customer perspective.

They guide you with possibilities.

They use the "telling" hat more.

They are focussed more on the "what".

They use more of 'thinking' style.

Action is your responsibility.


3. Coach

A coach is someone who partners with you in finding your own path.

They develop your thinking capability to break your own patterns.

They help you to find solutions when knowledge alone cannot help.

They support your accountability, rigour and sustained results.

Having a coach helps you handle VUCA & BANI world very effectively as the problems of today are sometimes unprecedented.

There could be one person wearing all these hats or three different people performing these roles.

Your support system should include all the three so that you are covered on all fronts.

You may not need all of them at the same time. However its prudent to invest time & effort to find the right support system for yourself.

Who shows you the mirror without judgement?

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