One of the characteristics I’m always seeking to develop in myself and look for in potential team members and future leaders is being teachable. One of the things that Identifies a truly teachable person is taking initiative to seek input and ideas from others and not being in love with your own thinking and ideas.

Dan Rockwell shares the advice leaders need but often reject.

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell

The things you know affirm what you’ve done. But advice that seems wrong has the power to change your leadership.

Advice disrupts.


The richest possible life includes advice-seeking.

Advice-seeking is listening for disruptive ideas.

Sometimes I say I want advice, but mostly I want affirmation.

Seeking advice is seeking disconfirmation, not affirmation.

Affirmation instills confidence but doesn’t ignite change.

Explore disconfirming advice. Don’t reject it.

Some leaders are too arrogant to seek advice. Arrogance needs to know because it’s veiled insecurity. You can’t receive advice when you need to know.

Success often hinges on disconfirming advice.

Lousy advisors:

  1. Can’t escape their own life to get into yours.
  2. Offer quick answers. Excitement to spew advice makes a lousy advisor.
  3. Have the gift of knowledge. Incompetent advisors have answers and advice on any topic. Know-it-alls are lousy advice-givers.
  4. Never adapt or reconsider. (An expression of #3 above.)


I know people who would love to be advisors but haven’t developed the skill of advice-giving. They might help, but probably won’t.

‘Be yourself’ is bad advice if it causes you to not seek advice. Authenticity is a destructive sham when you reject the voice of others. You become yourself in community, not isolation.

Take notes. Writing slows the pace of conversations. Note taking demonstrates respect. Plus, writing is thinking.

Teaching is useful, but too generic to be considered advice. Advisors tailor guidance to recipients. True advisors know you and respect your aspirations.

Life is too short to rely on personal experience. Skillful advice-seekers learn from the experience of others.

Ask yourself, “What happens if I don’t implement this advice?”, when you receive disconfirming advice.


Dedicate a week to advice-seeking. (I did.)