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Below are the keys to progressing a meaningful career as a trusted advisor. With the threat to jobs and creativity through AI and automation, more business leaders suffering SILO (stress, illness, loneliness and obesity), digital platforms providing addictive distractions reducing our ability to hold our attention, VUCA and disruption in the business world and the age of the internet economy... it's tough at the top! This is the time to be more human, focus on deeper connections with people, reminding ourselves on how to build & sustain effective relationships and look for help and support... Be or find a Wingman! 

1} Listening - the Wingman provides the sounding board and soaks up all that is being said. Being present and providing their full attention. How many times in this day and age do you confide in someone but since their head is elsewhere or they are constantly checking their phone? How many conversations have you had where it’s not a two-way dialogue it’s the person looking to dominate.

2} Perspective - being able to think with a telescope (big picture, future), microscope (detail, the small stuff, mostly immediate) and kaleidoscope (life’s too short so there has to be fun thinking and colour injected into life). 

3} Empathy - the ability to see the other person's point of view and consider their feelings.

4) Energy - your enthusiasm for helping whomever you are Wingman to needs to be infectious.

5) Positivity - injecting often a can-do attitude and instilling belief.

6} Action - a Wingman gets stuff done. No fuss. Over-delivering. There are two types of people: providers of problems and people that provide the solutions. Be the latter! 

7} Expertise - you need to be the go-to for X... and it needs to be clear where your expertise lies vs pretending you know something deeply when you don’t. You can’t be everything so be transparent what you are and what you are not. Offering an opinion on anything can be fine- encouraged but often with the acknowledgement that it’s not your area of expertise... 

8} Honesty - tell it how it is. See point 13 though about the importance of emotional intelligence in delivering your POV.

9} Objectivity - you want to provide the objective, unbiased, often unemotional point of view - people don’t need yes-men/ women around them.

10} Creativity - the ability to think differently and add value through ideas, innovation, forward thinking can be invaluable to help people ‘unstick’ something ‘stuck’... 

11} Trust - what you hear remains in confidence. It’s of paramount importance. You do not share what is confidential. Period.

12} Connectivity - you can often by your network connect dots that only you could have connected. As a business hyphenate, you can merge different worlds and angles for your client / solutions.

13} Communication - whether that’s using emotional intelligence to word correctly some negative feedback or challenging point of view. Or being able to articulate something in a succinct/ killer way for someone that has struggled to organise their thoughts or angle.

14} Selflessness - It’s not about what’s in it for you. The key to being a meaningful Wingman is the want to help others first. Your rewards will come. Be happy in the shadows. Let the other person you are helping shine. 

15} Resilience - You have to be able to take the knocks, stay on your path, stick to what you believe and keep moving forward. A key trait of a Wingman is whilst others around are faltering, your strength and doggedness puts you a cut above and the one still by someone’s side when others fall by the wayside.

16} Human - We are not robots. We are not perfect. We have egos. We want identity purpose and control. Accept people's strengths and weaknesses. Keep people grounded. Bring out the human in people. 

17} Realistic - sometimes the advice can be to stop flogging a dead horse. Sometimes you can be advising that an idea won’t work. Or that someone really is thinking in the clouds. 

18} Unrealistic - sometimes you need to show someone what really is a stretch target or so far out that that provides the benchmark for them to reel in their thinking... often the aim can be to shift the paradigm in thinking. Shoot for the stars and all that...

19} Chameleon -  Not in a forced way / contrived. Just different hats for different people and situations. Different angles for challenges- often for the same person. You should want to able to build effective relationships with people from all walks of life, backgrounds, opinions, cultures and levels. 

20} Progress - you are constantly looking to make things better, push things forward, improve, over deliver. You leave an interaction or situation with things in a better place than when you started... 

21} Extra - do more than required, go over and above. Over-deliver.... because that’s what sets you apart from the rest...