When it comes to making thoughtful decisions and pursuing our goals well, good advice is something we crave. We also want to be the kinds of people who offer that good advice to others— it can be such a rewarding way to contribute.
I recently joined the advisory board of an organization and took part in an all-day meeting. Various staff members presented on projects and ideas for the board’s reflection and critique, which made me feel a deep level of ownership over my role as an advisor. In addition to that experience, I’ve informally advised numerous people and organizations– many of us have.
I’ve also relentlessly sought advice from people whose insights, skills, and experiences I value. We’re taught at a young age that adults know better, and for a while this mindset follows us. Sometimes I wonder if we’re still looking for the “adults” in the room, forgetting that we ourselves crossed that threshold years ago.
But here’s the challenge with advice, as with anything: its quality runs the gamut of the fullness of humanity. Advice is fueled by inspiration and wisdom at best, and tainted by biases and pridefulness at worst. It can be the product of thoughtful research and reflection, or of sloppy thinking and inattention. When spot-on, advice is something we want to live and die by. When it misses the mark, it can be incredibly distracting and even destructive.…Continue Reading