You can’t see your Backside in the Mirror; A Trusted Adviser helps you see what you Cannot See on your Own

When Samantha finishes trimming my locks, she spins my chair to face the mirror and holds up another mirror so I can see the back of my head.


A trusted adviser helps you see what you cannot see on your own. When you become more self-aware, you can develop action steps to improve daily.

Self-awareness has internal and external dimensions: knowing yourself and understanding how others see you.

The mirror gives you an impression of yourself, but a trusted adviser helps you understand what’s creating the image that you see. When you want to change something, your adviser encourages you to add skills or chip away at anything holding you back.


Understanding how others see you can be difficult, too. You need someone to hold up the second mirror so you can see what others see: your backside.

People get into trouble when they look into distorted mirrors. Sometimes we create those mirrors, and sometimes others make them for us.

I used to think leaders had to be extroverts, so I created a distorted mirror to see an extroverted me.

It was a disaster that burned me out and damaged my relationships. When someone finally held up an accurate mirror, everything started to make sense, and I learned how to be a better version of myself.

How often are trusted leaders surprised when people who say how much they love working for them quit their jobs or turn against them (Et tu Brute?)? In these cases, subordinates may be holding distorted mirrors that lead someone to believe they have more support than they do.

So-called “validated” 360-degree instruments tend to be distorted mirrors, too. Most busy people do what you do when given an exhaustive survey with responses ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree” — you vote straight ticket right down the line so you can get the questions over with and get back to work. (I have a simple 8-question tool that gives you quality feedback — reply to this email for more information).

More troubling are the mirrors held by frenemies.

Frenemies pose as supporters but are trying to bring you down, often bureaucratic rivals or people offering unsolicited “feedback” designed to make you feel bad about yourself or make them feel good about themselves.

Unsolicited advice is never about helping you be your best self, which is why you should ignore it.

What mirrors are you using to know yourself and understand how others see you?

Are you ready for accurate mirrors?


There’s still time to register for Joyful Sales Conversations, where I’ll show you how to put the gardener’s principle into action. When you create trust, you will transform your business.

June 17th & 28th 11:00 – 11:30 am US Central (plus 30-minutes for Q&A afterward)

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