Stop with the “Trusted Advisor!”

I have been bombarded this week with people saying they are “trusted advisors.” So much so that I must react.

While being a trusted advisor is certainly a worthy goal of any professional, please realize that it rarely happens. David Maister in his book entitled The Trusted Advisor says relatively little time is spent in truly trusted advisor relationships which he defines as a relationship, “in which, virtually all issues, personal and professional, are open to discussion and exploration. The trusted advisor is the person the client turns to when the issue first arises, often times of great urgency: a crisis, a change, a triumph, or a defeat.”

With this definition in mind, I find it the height of hubris to say to a prospective customer, “I want to be your trusted advisor,” or, “We like to think of ourselves as trusted advisors.”

My response, “Keep thinking and keep walking!”