Image by GrahamKing via Flickr
I work with a lot of entrepreneurs in the frequently challenging endeavor of growing small companies. When one is continually entering uncharted territory, it is difficult if not impossible to be right all the time. The CEO won’t be always be right and nor will I.
To that end, I explain to the CEO’s I work with that for me there is only one way to get in trouble with me.
And that is to ignore my advice and fail.
As a starting point, one can take my advice or ignore it, succeed or fail, and from my point of view the relationship will only be undermined by a combination of failure and a consistent failure to listen to good advice.
On the other hand, the entrepreneur that doesn’t listen and succeeds is ok in my book. Listen and fail, that’s ok too. Listen and succeed, that’ll work. I have only had one entrepreneur in 10 years that failed to listen and, coincidentally (?!?) didn't progress his company very well. Now, I am assessing listening skills and disposition to take advice from the very first meeting.
In any case, I make a living by helping entrepreneurs succeed and if I’m not more right than wrong with my advice – I won’t be doing it much longer. I just assume that I’m not always right and I search for CEO’s who assume the same about themselves.