Imagine you had the best leaders in the world all advising you? You’d have access to the leaders who are most relevant to you now, who are experts in the kind of success you want to achieve and who have attained the highest respect and regard in their fields. Your every challenge, overcome. Let’s create that for you now. It’s called the Imaginary Advisory Board, and it can be yours with just a little imagination.
This idea originated with author Napoleon Hill. Hill was a protégé of Andrew Carnegie who spent twenty years studying wealth creation from such masters of fortune as Henry Ford, Charles M. Schwab, John D. Rockefeller, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. (Talk about a dream team!) His research culminated in the 1960 classic Think and Grow Rich. Even if your ultimate vision has nothing to do with wealth creation per se, the idea of Hill’s “imaginary advisory board” offers an abundance of possibility.
An imaginary advisory board is a group of people who can inspire and guide you toward your vision of yourself as a leader and in your life. The difference is they don’t actually exist.
Actually, that’s not quite true. They may exist or they may not, but unless you are extremely well-connected or capable of time-travel, the chances of sitting down with them for a conversation are slim either because you don’t know them or they because they’re no longer living. The members of your imaginary advisory board are typically:
- historical figures
- legends in their own time
- famous people in your field
- characters from fiction and non-fiction
- religious leaders
Your imaginary advisory board might also include people with whom you don’t usually talk about your aspirations and achievements, but who represent the values you hold dear:
- spiritual guides
- your children and parents
- good friends past and present
- other people who have had a hand in shaping your life.
In this way you can gather in one place the characteristics you admire most – your mother’s wisdom, your bosses’ clarity, your mentor’s way of being direct yet empathetic – and use them to help you live and lead well.
Once you’ve assembled your “board of directors,” in your mind you can pose your questions to them. Think about what they’d advise. Think about how they would do what you’re trying to do, and learn from them. You’ll be amazed at the wisdom and creativity that comes from thinking this way.
At first, you may feel silly and even childish meeting with your imaginary advisory board. But this “board” will allow you to do something no other group can do: bring all of your values and aspirations into one place, personified by a significant someone. Even though you can’t be with them, you can still aspire to be like them.
To do this process more completely from the beginning, go to the website and download your FREE copy of the Imaginary Advisory Board Planning Guide. You’ll find it at www.TheInnerEdge.com – click on Worksheets and Audios (on the left) – and scroll down to find it.