Twice a week I pick up my big daughter from handball practice. This week I felt like I was pretty well knowledgeable and could not resist giving her unasked tips on how to improve her game. Actually, it's been 20 years since I played handball, but most people think that they know quite well. Me too, so I started right away with some more or less useful recommendations. "This is what you have to do and this..." And so on.

It is often annoying to be consulted without being asked

Niccolò Machiavelli wrote in 1513 in "The Prince" that one should choose one's advisors calmly oneself. With a little distance I notice that I am not really a fan of it myself if someone tells me his views and opinions without consent. In any case, hardly anyone is pleased to be optimised externally without being asked. 

This is no different in the job and unfortunately, managers are often caught up in this trap. Especially in the case of authoritarian bosses, no one dares to tell their superiors that they are welcome to ask if someone is interested in their input. Often he or she has already lost contact with the actual business anyway and the advice is not only undesirable but also wrong. That's not a bad thing because an executive should not be the expert, but a leader.

Leaders and parents are not automatically welcome as advisors

From my point of view, I can now learn the following from this. Leaders should focus on leadership. If you want to be the best employee at the same time, you are wrong in the management position. I don't want to know how many good experts have been turned into bad leaders.

All in all, it is therefore advisable to question the impulse of the advice in principle first of all. Am I in the position to give tips here? Does it benefit the overall result? And when you then come to the decision to say something, then - dear parents and executives - it is probably wise to remember Machiavelli and to ask first of all whether someone wants a clue or not, instead of starting right away. 

What do you think? Let me know!

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