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  • Someone who knows what awesome looks like in a narrow area / specific problem you're trying to solve is the best kind of advisor.

  • A great advisor guides you through 4 stages:

    • Unconscious incompetence

    • Conscious incompetence

    • Conscious competence

    • Unconscious incompetencecompetence

Best practices

  • At dropbox:

    • Any VP and above gets a mandatory advisor / coach assigned.

    • They see who they can stretch internally before hiring any fulltime new role

  • If you have performance issues or an opportunity for growth, first attract an advisor who has the superpowers you are looking for so they inform you who to hire (and can help hire the right person).

  • What is the superpower you can apply when you work with advisors in order to extract maximum value? Turn from defensiveness into curiosity. Ask "why are you proposing this", "does it apply to use case X as well", "give me examples". You don't HAVE to agree with the advisor as you’re still accountable in your role. It's not a debate with the goal to get to a right answer. Listen, be curious, then it's still your decision.

  • Add advisor to slack channels so they can monitor (sometimes point them to where they need to focus).

  • Come with an agenda: prep questions / problems (duh this sounds obvious but the rush of the startup sometimes leads to a lack of prep, which reduces the value of the interaction).

  • Ask a lot of questions about the why behind what they are advising. Understanding how they tick means you're downloading their expertise and pattern matching into your own brain