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There is a wonderful scene in ‘The Godfather’ where Robert Duval, who plays Tom Hagen, the Consiglieri to Godfather Marlon Brando, smiles at his colleagues as if to say, “don’t worry, I have his back”. In other words, ‘I am looking after him. I will make sure he is supported’. Now, you may think that the Godfather film is not a great example for modern day business leaders. Is it too violent? Is it too difficult a subject matter? Or does that award-winning film from the 70’s show us that all those who lead need someone to confide in, bounce ideas and thoughts off and question their motives?
I am convinced that no-one reading this article is like Don Corleone (at least I hope not). However, many of us share the fact that we lead companies where the buck stops with us. It is our business. If the buck stops with you, who supports you to help the buck to stop? Are you feeling that it is tough at the top? If you are, I have good news. That is the right feeling! It is and it should be. It is your ambition, your desire, your feelings, your heart and soul which is invested in the ideas, the people, the plans and the relationships to make your business work. Most days are fantastic. Some are tougher and then some, well, some can be very tough indeed.
We believe all leaders deserve support. We believe you deserve your own Consiglieri. A Consiglieri is a counsellor, an advisor, an assistant or mentor who ‘has your back’. Someone who provides the intelligent support and guidance that, whatever size of company you are responsible for, you need and can benefit from.
What in our opinion, makes a good Consiglieri?
1. Good listening skills
They have great listening skills. Good support coaches will recognise that listening is more important than talking. Your support should recognise that it is all about you and not them. They will listen to your every word and emotion. Their job is to listen to their clients and help them to realise their potential in all aspects of the business of running the business.
2. Excellent communication skills
They have excellent communication skills. A good Consiglieri will be able to understand what you are saying and thinking and how to apply that in today’s ever-changing and demanding environment. They will be able to consider a number of ways to move forward; they will be able to review a number of different issues from a number of different perspectives, capture them and distil them into a simple, easy to understand next steps guide. They will also challenge you as a client. A top-class Consiglieri will hold you to account and help you best navigate your journey.
3. Offer expertise
They will be able to offer expertise in running a business. A strong coach will have run his or her own business. They will know what it is like to have cash issues; to have the bank breathing down your neck; to have experience the tension between investment and current financial needs. They should be able to offer practical expertise based on their own experience not guidance they have read in a book or a magazine.
They are in the business of coaching because they love what they do. Their experience has shown them that what they do adds value and support to those they serve.
4. Always professional
They act in a professional manner. A coach is, at all times, confidential. They have YOUR back. They do not share any of their other client’s issues. Their devotion is to make sure you are okay and your business is evolving. That you are supported and feel like you are the most important person in the world. They have good emotional intelligence and, in my opinion, are nice people to have around. Their code of conduct should be exemplary.
Get in touch today for an informal chat with one of our trusted advisors. We will never make you an offer you can’t refuse. We will help you cut through the noise of running your business and see the big picture as you continue the journey of being a first-class business leader, reflective of modern culture.
Dave Pye – Co-Founder & Director at Jump Advisory