The Round Table

Last week in a post about asking more questions, I mentioned my “round table of advisors”. A few of you asked me about this so I thought I’d give you a quick rundown on choosing advisors.

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This imagery all came about for me once when I was trying to make an important career decision and I was worried about what the company would think. A dear friend said “A company can’t think. Humans can think and feel. But a company is not a sentient being. Stop giving ‘the company’ a seat at your decision making table.”

This stopped me in my tracks. Who DID have a seat at my decision making table? Who are my advisors? Who has earned the right to give voice to their opinion on my life?

Here’s the deal. The table is small because (a) I am extremely independent and (b) most people have an agenda…even good people.

Some rules for my round table:
– They have to have known me long enough to see me in different seasons and circumstances
– They know about my past and understand how it influences me (this helps me avoid making trauma influenced decisions)
– Some of them do what I do for a living and know my work ethic and style
– Some of them do something totally different and don’t give a shit about the nitty gritty details of my work
– No matter what they do, I’m inspired by their work and values
– They can live with my not taking their advice and going my own way…and would never say “I told you so…”
– They are okay with “woo woo” stuff even if they don’t believe it…meaning my belief in the “woo woo” doesn’t make them think less of me
– They are fun. We laugh together.

And the most important thing about each member of my advisor table…they care deeply about ME!

No, I do not get these people together for a board meeting. But I could. They know each other or about each other. They aren’t surprised when I say “Yeah, that’s what M said too” because they’ve been at this a while with me.

No, I do not always seek their advice before making decisions. Sometimes I just know and they support my crazy strong sense of intuition.

Yes, they do know something about my finances, my mental health, my physical well-being, or my relationship status. These are my people…of course they know.

Some members of my advisor table read my contracts and tell me when I undervalue myself. Others tell me I need to pray or get in touch with my creativity. One always tells me to knock it off and make a decision, when I’m floundering. And at least one regularly says “I’m not sure why you are asking me, you already know what you are going to do.” (He’s not wrong.)

Companies don’t sit at the table. Your enemies don’t sit at the table. People who need you to behave, comply, play small, or be anyone other than your fabulous self better not even try to pull out a chair at the table or the big guy from MIT will show them out. (Love you G)

Get yourself a table of advisors. Be a member of someone’s table. The sooner the better.

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