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Let Me Be Your Third Opinion

What enables people to reach and sustain peak performance? Training and coaching are key development tools but they are not enough.

You cannot realize your full potential alone. The best leaders know this. Throughout history, great leaders have surrounded themselves with intellectual sparring partners, advisers, and confidants.
Yet your inner circle should offer you more than expertise. It must also create trust and an external perspective, to help you see what others around you are missing. But there is one kind of trust that’s less well understood; Structural Trust.

I did not set out to become an adviser and thinking partner. A bit of exposure to some inner circle, and working with business leaders to develop outside insight on the challenges they face sharpened my perspective. I am the person leaders turn to after they have gotten second opinion advice from key people within the organization. I am the third opinion. The third opinion. The person they turn to with their most confidential questions, risk, and uncertainties. As a thinking partner, I provide an outside perspective, which helps test or tear ideas. This process allows for the leaders to vet tough calls while driving a leap in performance.

Outside thinking partners are too important to be left to chance. Seeking advice is as old as biblical times, from Pharaoh’s counselors to JF Kennedy’s, and the missile crisis history is full of wise ones whose primary role was to be a sounding board and intellectual foil for the one in charge.
History is full of business littered with smart executive teams that didn’t see it coming. Leadership in this modern era demands external thinking partners in addition to a top-notch internal team.
For the COVID and Post-COVID Era, my advisory job with boards, C-level organizations, and teams is my job description and most of my work most would be signed with non-disclosures where need be. We all need a third opinion and thinking partner in these trying times and I’m open more to this season.

Ready? Let’s do this!

Charles Umeh

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