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Why Should the Boss Listen to You?: The Seven Disciplines of the Trusted Strategic Advisor

Why Should the Boss Listen to You?: The Seven Disciplines of the Trusted Strategic Advisor

by James E. Lukaszewski


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This is a book about gaining influence and becoming a key trusted advisor. It is for everyone who advises leaders and senior managers (accounting, finance, human resources, IT, law, marketing, public relations, security, and strategic planning) and for outside consultants in these functional staff areas. It’s also for operations people yearning to finally be heard and heeded by their boss.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780787996185
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 02/08/2008
Series: J-B International Association of Business Communicators Series , #13
Pages: 242
Sales rank: 459,664
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

The Author

James E. Lukaszewski is the founder, CEO, and chairman of The Lukaszewski Group Inc. He is a trusted advisor who helps leaders and managers contain and counteract tough, touchy, sensitive corporate management issues on a daily basis. His website——is considered to be among the most important in crisis management and public relations.

Table of Contents

Preface xiii

My guess is that you picked this book up because you are in finance, the law department, public relations, human resources, strategic planning, security, marketing, IT, or compliance, and you deserve to be heard much earlier, more often, at higher levels. You hold in your hands the disciplines necessary to achieve your objective.

Acknowledgments xxi

About the Author xxvii

Introduction: Leaders and Their Advisors xxix

If you are going to advise bosses and leaders, you need to change your perspective. Having a better sense of the disciplined approach required and how these seven disciplines mold you into a strategic advisor will be essential to your success.

Part One: The Realities of Advising Top Executives

1 How Leaders Think and Operate: The Pressures, What Matters, the Obstacles, and the Solutions 3

First, know whom you are advising, their environment, and what they care about. Here, I analyze the world in which leaders currently live, what is different today in what they do and what is expected of them, and how this applies to the trusted strategic advisor. This includes how leaders make decisions and spend their time, five reasons leaders fail, and five behaviors for leadership success.

2 What Leaders Expect 21

Meeting the expectations of those you advise is essential, but knowing what they expect can be mysterious. This chapter identifies seven key expectations executives have for advisors, five aspects of effective advice, questions to ask before approaching the boss, and the talents and abilities expected of advisors.

3 Achieving Maximum Impact 33

There is a lot of competition and many voices at these altitudes. If you want to punch through, you must constantly strive to have maximum impact. Know the nitty-gritty of what trusted strategic advisors do. This is the chapter that takes you there. You will walk through the self-energizing steps to gain the confidence of senior managers, and learn about the importance of speaking management’s language, annoying staff habits to avoid, and, most important, the five areas where leaders and bosses need feedback every day.

Part Two: The Seven Disciplines

4 Be Trustworthy 49

Trust is the first discipline and the foundation for a relationship between advisor and leader or boss. This chapter offers five components of trust, six behaviors to establish trust, and ten ways to lose trust.

5 Become a Verbal Visionary 65

A leader’s greatest skill is verbal skill, and a leader’s advisor must also have powerful verbal skills. Explore the six verbal tools advisors have to provide advice, self-assess your verbal skill, find out what it means to be a visionary, and discover the seven behaviors and actions of verbal visionaries.

6 Develop a Management Perspective 87

Managers and leaders trust those who show interest in and are knowledgeable about operations and the work of leaders. To be a management advisor, you need to be able to talk more about your boss’s goals and objectives than about whatever your staff function happens to be. You need to be able to see the business or organization operationally and through the leader’s eyes.

7 Think Strategically 105

Leadership is always about strategy. This chapter discusses the concepts and ideas behind being strategic, including the seven virtues of a strategist, the four phases of strategic thinking, and five fatal strategic flaws. Find out how much of a strategist you are.

8 Be a Window to Tomorrow: Understand the Power of Patterns 129

The advisor who can forecast tomorrow with almost any level of accuracy will be invited back time and time again. One of the great insights into being a powerful forecaster is understanding how to learn from the patterns of past experiences. This chapter offers the five lessons of scenario pattern awareness and examples of the insights patterns can reveal.

9 Advise Constructively 149

Giving advice is an art that starts where the boss is and where he or she has to go. This chapter will teach you how to structure your advice to ensure that you are clearly understood and that the boss can act on what you are advising. It also offers pitfalls to giving advice, some strategies and techniques to help you structure advice, and three strategic tools to use.

10 Show the Boss How to Use Your Advice 165

One of the skills that management schools fail to teach is how to take advice from those whose advice one seeks. To see your ideas come alive, teach the boss how to take and to use your advice. You may be surprised at how receptive your boss will be. This chapter offers four elements of constructive advice, seven approaches to providing effective advice, and a way to assess your daily effectiveness.

Conclusion: You Are the Table 181

The fundamental premise of this book is that you are the table whenever you are in the presence of those you are advising, even if you are the only one in the room with them. Forget searching for this mythical place, located somewhere in the vicinity of the boss’s office. Understand the leaders’ environment and thinking. Develop the disciplined approach this book offers, and the table will be full whenever you are there. This confident attitude, coupled with sensible, useful, and constructive advice, is what the boss expects, relies on, and respects you for in the process.

Index 185

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Leaders must have trusted advisors.  This book shows you how to be one and stay one."
—Harvey B. Mackay, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive

"Jim Lukaszewski has personally helped resolve more corporate crises than anyone I know of.  His experience “in the trenches” equals the high quality of his judgment."
—Chester Burger, American Public Relations Leader Emeritus and PRSA Gold Anvil Winner

"This book is all muscle.  It will challenge even the most trusted advisors to improve their skills.  Hats off to Jim Lukaszewski for an actionable playbook and a good read."
—Lynn Casey, Chief Executive Officer of Padilla Speer Beardsley Inc.

"One of the most common complaints of managers and functional experts inside organizations is that their leaders don’t listen to them and heed their advice enough.  And they’re right.  The result is a huge waste of time, expertise, morale, and money.  Part of the answer is leaders becoming better, wiser advice takers…the other part is better advice giving on the part of advisers.  In this important book, Jim Lukaszewski lays out with great clarity and practicality what anyone must know who wants to have more influence on a boss and more impact on organizational success."
—Dan Ciampa, Author of Taking Advice, How Leaders Get Good Counsel and Use it Wisely

"I have both worked with Jim and learned from him.  He is focused and consistent in his approach to providing strategic advice.  He combines those immeasurable qualities of experience, intelligence and grit that allow him to say what the client needs to hear in the way it needs to be heard.  Attorneys are in the unique position of both advocating for a client.  There is a delicate balance to be drawn between advising a client as to a business aspect of a particular matter and advising the client in regard to a matter which has become contentious.  Jim has a powerful sense of the nuanced tones and content of the advice that must be given.  Reading this book provides valuable insights and guidance to help you navigate the often treacherous waters swirling around management."
—Douglas Cooper, Co-Managing Partner, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, P.C.

"Lukaszewski, a brilliant strategic advisor, gives the secrets that can mean success for you."
—Robert L. Dilenschneider, Author of Power and Influence: The Rules Have Changed

"If you want to be in your organization’s inner circle or if you and want to stay there, this book is a must read.  Jim Lukaszewski is hands down one of the brightest business strategists on the scene today.  This is the handbook to your career success."
—Bob Frause, Chairman CEO, The Frause Group

"Jim Lukaszewski is a master both at giving advice to leaders and coaching others to become trusted advisors.  This book provides valuable tools and techniques to help enhance anyone's advisory skills, and to help earn the trust and confidence of those at the top."
—Helio Fred Garcia, Executive Director, Logos Institute for Crisis Management & Executive Leadership

"Jim Lukaszewski is widely regarded as one of the country’s preeminent authorities in crisis communications and issues management.  I have been privileged to work with Jim and to benefit from his wise counsel for many years.  What I admire most is Jim’s innate desire to teach others.  Through his professional practice and his writings, Jim relentlessly challenges us to elevate our thinking and our skills in order to drive strategic thinking throughout our respective organizations."
—Karen Muldoon Geus, Former Vice President Communications, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Primestar Partners

"Jim Lukaszewski is the best strategic thinker I know. But what makes him even more valuable to clients is his ability to sell his recommendations to CEOs and senior management. That combination of talents is exceedingly rare."
—Robert E. Gorman, Robert E. Gorman Communication

"I’ve been a communication consultant to all types of organizations for more than 30 years, and I thought I knew all there was to know about offering advice to my clients until I read Jim Lukaszewski’s book.  What a treasure trove of insights, experiences, and practical advice on how to become and remain a valued advisor.  Read it and learn."
—Carole M. Gorney Director, Center for Crisis Public Relations & Litigation Studies, Lehigh University

"When your company is faced with a dire situation, there is great comfort in picking up the phone and hearing Jim Lukaszewski’s voice.  When we get in a tight spot we rely on his wisdom and advice."
—Deborah L. Grant, Vice President of University Communications, Tulane University

"In Why Should the Boss Listen to You: The Seven Disciplines of the Trusted Strategic Advisor, Jim Lukaszewski draws on his long and successful career as a counselor to senior management, in a clear and straightforward way.  No matter what your profession, the Disciplines will help you see higher and further."
—Stephanie Harwood, S.M. Harwood Consulting

"One of the most ‘trusted strategic advisors’ I know is Jim Lukaszewski.  So, if you want your boss to listen to you, read this book . . .  and everything else Jim writes."
—Richard Jernstedt, Chief Marketing Officer, EVP, Senior Partner, Fleishman-Hillard

"In this book the magician reveals his secrets. And guess what.  Some of it is magic but most of it is integrity in action.  You can do it too."
—George Kroloff, George Kroloff & Associates

"Jim's diverse background, depth of experience, and hands-on battle skills in the trenches deliver superior results; his strategic advice and counsel made the difference."
—Seth Kursman, Vice President, Government Affairs & Communications, AbitibiBowater Inc.

"As Founder and CEO of the world’s favorite florist, I have gotten advice from many thoughtful strategic advisors.  None are more capable than Jim.  This book provides the blueprint to become a Trusted Advisor."
—Jim McCann, Chief Executive Officer ,

"As the CEO of my own firm today, and as Jim’s mentor and college advisor years ago, I am reminded of the depth of perspective Jim has always displayed in operating as a trusted advisor to so many, even as he completed his education.  This book will open up his wise and inventive approaches to guiding and advising to a much wider business audience.  I encourage you to read this book and be inspired by it."
—Judith Pendergrass, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Consulting Psychologists, Inc.

"Jim is well known for helping those in the C-suite deal with crises.  With his new book, Why Should the Boss Listen to You:  The Seven Disciplines of the Trusted Strategic Advisor, he teaches us how to build the kind of trusting relationship needed to be the first person the CEO calls when there's a situation brewing.  Or when he or she just wants to hear some straight talk."
—Mela Sera, Account Supervisor, IMRE Communications

"Jim's ability to quickly assess issues and offer pragmatic solutions, in a clear, understandable fashion makes him a valuable partner in running a business in these fast and turbulent times where employees are looking for direction and leadership they can trust more than ever before.  Over the years, many of my line managers still comment on how his counsel helped them and how they use his tenets of communication every day."
—Robert M. Sherwood, Division Human Resources Lead, Givaudan Schweiz AG

"Jim Lukaszewski is a premier counselor to CEOs for one simple reason:  he knows how they think, what matters to them . . .  and what does not matter to them.  Too many who contend for influence in the executive suite do not know these basics.  They attempt to impose their notions of what the boss should know about their functional area.  Far better that they forget their own job title, put themselves in the boss’s shoes, and bring useful insight that helps the leader move the organization forward.  Jim's book shows aspiring counselors exactly how to do this."
—David J. Therkelsen, Executive Director, Crisis Connection

"Jim often is at the table with spot-on counsel, laser-focused strategy that CEOs and other experts and advisors can quickly embrace, and an intensity that makes the difference in the final outcome."
—Marilyn Waters, Director of Media Relations, Fortune 100 Company

"Every senior leader worth his or her salt should listen to what Jim Lukaszewski has to say. The record is clear. Often it has been Jim’s unique experience, insight, and counsel that made the difference between success and failure for leaders facing the most challenging problems and issues of their careers."
—Richard J. White, Vice President-Corporate Communications, Wisconsin Energy Corporation/We Energies

"I've worked side-by-side with Jim Lukaszewski. He brings enormous credibility to high pressure situations. Clients listen because they sense immediately that he is a trusted advisor. I’ve read every word of his book.  If you want to add new value in your organization and be viewed as a trusted advisor, you should, too."
—Davis Young, Author of Building Your Company's Good Name

"An exciting and practical book about how to become a 'strategic trusted advisor' to CEOs and other leaders.This book serves as a road map for anyone who aspires to become a 'strategic personal counselor' for a boss or client. The way to manage your own destiny, says Lukaszewski, is by helping leaders realize theirs."
—Otto Lerbinger, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus, Boston University, College of Communication

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