Who's got your back?23rd October 2019
In ancient Rome, victorious generals had their parades of triumph somewhat spoiled by slaves ordered to stand behind them whispering, "Remember you are mortal."
I remember reading this fun fact many years ago and thinking it was a bit daft. And it turns out most historians nowadays think the whole story was made up.
Allegedly the idea was to make sure the generals didn't get too big-headed.
But as advice goes... well, wouldn't it be better to remind a war leader of his (and everyone's) mortality before the battle rather than after - when it could help him make better decisions?
To be a great leader, you need to receive good, timely advice - and act on it, too.
We saw how important that was throughout the Brexit process. At every stage, people relied on shoddy advice and rejected sane advice (and they still are!).
David Cameron didn’t listen to the advice he received from George Osborne [SL1] regarding the consequences of holding a referendum.
And then in the run up to the referendum, the British people received unreliable advice from all directions, both on the consequences of voting leave – and on the consequences of voting remain.
Jeremy Corbyn’s advisors have been pushing him to take an ambiguous and ever-changing position on Brexit[SL2] , which is mostly to blame for his sinking in the polls. And let's not forget how Theresa May’s advisors were forced to resign [SL3] after (effectively) losing her the election.
Michael Gove can't even follow his own advice, as he leads the UK's planning for the no-deal Brexit he previously said was not mandated[SL4] . And now Dominic Cummings [SL5] is being questioned about the quality of his advice to both Gove and Boris Johnson.
What a mess!
As a leader, you make most, if not all, of the key decisions for your company…
And you need good advice so that you can take advantage of the best opportunities and avoid (or at least dramatically reduce) the biggest risks.
No one individual can know everything, let alone be an expert in everything – even if you’re a highly successful CEO.
That's why every government department is built around advisors, and it's why successful people ALWAYS rely on other people’s advice as well as their own intuition.
This is true for you and your company's finances too. And it’s particularly important when you need help strengthening things on the financial side.
A lot of what we do for clients involves being their financial sounding board, helping them to think through all of the potential consequences, risks and implications of their decisions - including those they may not have considered.
Our clients rely on us not just for technical financial support with things like tax returns and payroll, but for the insights they gain from our many years of first-hand experience in financial management.
It's reassuring to discuss your financial decisions with an expert before you forge ahead.
And even if you've got the company finances well in hand, by talking through it with a financial director, you often uncover other angles you might not have considered!
Even people at the top of their game need good advice. I used to have a cartoon on my wall – a person in a suit sitting at a desk in an empty office, holding a teddy bear. The caption said, “It’s lonely at the top”.
The people who fail as leaders are those who are arrogant and think they don't need advice because they know it all.
They're lonely at the top because they've forgotten or denied their own vulnerabilities. ("Remember you are mortal...")
The people who run successful businesses are those who are open to accepting guidance from specialised experts.
No one ever ran a successful business without advisors, just like no great sportsperson or musician ever reached #1 without a coach.
That’s what we can do for you financially.