The Jester and the Advisor
by Coach Colle Davis
Using rules, laws, coercion, brute force, and other means of controlling people or systems requires too much energy to sustain. When the energy cost gets high enough, the system breaks down, then resets itself to allow more flexibility.
The reset process is seldom easy, quiet, or smooth.
The trick for succeeding is being prepared (read, adaptable enough to adjust to anything new and keep going), so when the old rigid system collapses, you and your loyal court are alert and ready to take over or continue. The key to your success is conserving enough energy and connections, allowing you to bring them into play as your system of power when the time is right.
You want to leverage your skills, talents, abilities, and contacts to impose your system on as many people as you can, RIGHT?
What will that do for you?
What will you get out of being the leader of the new regime of power? Plus, planning to be ousted is always in the wings.
There is a more elegant answer to these questions.
To lead a large group of dedicated people can be exhausting (and very exciting and ego feeding), and every regime comes to an end, seldom the way one expects. Moving into the new court requires help from a small group you can trust.
Think about this for a minute: What if you could always have the best of everything in the world around you and never be the target of the coup leaders or the followers of the opposition? How would you define that role?
These people are referred to as trusted advisers or consultants. They are confidants and respected by the powers-that-be and the wannabe powers-that-be because they appear good at their jobs, and they do NOT threaten anyone on the way up. Their jobs and their livelihoods depend not on grabbing power, not being perceived as part of the power elite, not showing favoritism or disdain to anyone or any group, but because they are there for the top players no matter what the affiliation.
What are these highly sought after and admired players called?
Question: What is the difference between a court jester and an advisor?
Answer: Their costumes. Their behaviors may differ but having a non-challenging person next to the leader is excellent insurance for very little expense. [See Kingmaker for a better option.]
A consultant is a jester with outside experience and nice clothes. They serve at the pleasure of the leader or one of his/her minions and paid very well for advice that they wouldn’t do themselves because they have NO SKIN IN THE GAME. They can leave any time and get paid even when a project or organization fails.
So why have them around? The jester/advisor best serves as a temporary crutch or distraction. Their advice is never of high value, and only their ear is useful for a short time. What you need are their skills embedded in you and your court.
Use these heuristics when hiring a jester/consultant:
If a person has no background in doing what they are suggesting, don’t follow their advice.
If they suffer no harm if the project goes bad, they are not to be trusted or their advice taken.
The next time a consultant enters the room, think of them in a jester costume, and it helps you interact with them in an appropriate manner.
For more creative and powerful advice from a jester/consultant maker, contact me. For more in-depth techniques for progressing your career, contact Colle Davis. Your first session is FREE. This risk-free offer for career advancement is held in a relaxed setting in Richmond, Virginia, with a cup of coffee with Colle Davis, an Executive Coach with a thirty-year track record of success. Virtual sessions are also available.
Read our Executive Coaching Guarantee
Call or email me today for your FREE conversation. Colle Davis 804 467-1536, or EMAIL.