As Founders, we get a lot of advice… from a lot of people.
Investors, advisors, customers, employees, roommates, parents of college buddies…everyone has an opinion. Some of it is highly valuable. Most of it is not.
And that’s the challenge with advice: high variability of value combined with high volume.
Several gems of advice I received as a CEO honestly transformed the five companies I ran. They were “company-making” insights, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I also know I’ve spent 100’s of hours listening to advice that I had to ignore or risk being derailed.
Here are four key areas to navigating advice:
1) First, choose carefully who is in the network of people giving you advice.
2) Second, manage the psychology of advice — both your psychology and that of the advice givers.
3) Third, differentiate the types of decisions you are trying to make when getting advice.
4) Fourth, learn judgment about good advice vs bad advice.
Herodotus noted that understanding what advice to take is like well reasoned thought. He wrote,
“To think well and to consent to obey someone giving good advice are the same thing.”