The Worst Advice I Was Ever Given

I thought I might share the worst piece of leadership advice I have ever been given. Ever.

Literally. Ever.

It was right at the beginning of the Hope for Justice journey. I would talk often to other leaders, asking their advice, asking about the lessons they had learned along their journey.

And that’s how many of us start. We start by asking questions.

I often say to our staff, the best leaders ask the best questions.

So, I met a lot of leaders at the beginning. Asking a lot of the questions. Most of them had no idea who I was…and probably still don’t, but I met with them and asked about leadership, and team building, and strategy, and communications.

I asked them, ‘what’s the best piece of advice you could give me?’.

These people led large companies, others led large charities, others led church movements. Some were at the beginning of their journey, others were nearing the end.

I could write a book on all the great advice I received in those conversations.

But I can write a blog on the worst advice.

This is the worst piece of advice I have ever been given and I hope you can learn from this nugget of non wisdom somebody gave me.

I asked them, “What advice would you give me to build a board and a leadership team that will contribute to a successful future?”

This person, who I won’t name, replied to me…

“Surround yourself with ‘yes’ people.”

You see, that’s the way you get an easy decision through, that’s how you get a team to be on board with every idea you have….surround yourself with ‘yes’ people.

It creates an easier life for you.

It creates an easier mechanism for your vision.

Surround yourself with ‘yes’ people.

My friends, this is the worst piece of advice I have ever been given. Because the reality is iron sharpens iron. 

You are a byproduct of your environment.

If there is anything you can do to counter the worst piece of advice I have ever been given, the best piece of advice I could give is surround yourself with people who are better than you.

More equipped than you.

More resourced than you.

More experienced than you.

Don’t surround yourself with ‘yes’ people, surround yourself with people who have the ability to take you where you need to get to.