confidant (n) pron. con·fi·dant
One with whom secrets or private matters are discussed. A trusted friend who serves to explore and reveal the inner thoughts and anxieties, and enable the intentions, of a principal.
[From the Latin, present participle of confidere, to rely on.]
The leaders’ confidant, working behind the scenes, helping them to see the dynamics of situations, the politics of organisations, their own personality, and the behaviour of other people, differently; motivating them to achieve more, enabling them to formulate their dreams, and find the confidence to transform these into reality.
What is it that I do?
The most senior roles in almost any organisation are lonely places to be. Individuals find that there is a limited range of people with whom they can discuss things – both strategic and operational. They often find that they distrust the motives of their peers, or are concerned about divulging significant information inappropriately or too early. Often, their ideas are not yet formulated and they are concerned that using others as a sounding board may lead to rumours and speculation that grows out of proportion with consequences that could harm them, the organisation and its stakeholders. Even professional advisors can have split loyalties by virtue of their remit.
My role is to work as a uniquely qualified and strictly boundaried confidant to people in positions of power. We build a relationship of trust in which they can discuss almost any kind of issue affecting them at the time. They know that anything discussed will remain between us and that my support will not be compromised by my own agendas.
What kinds of topics will we address?
If it is affecting the motivation, confidence or vision of a leader then it is fair territory for us to explore. Apart from the themes I’ve already mentioned, little is taboo in my work. There are several case studies among the articles elsewhere on this site.
Some of the areas recently covered include:
|Developing corporate vision and strategy
|The dynamics of relationships with parent companies and subsidiaries
|Leaders' own behaviour, esp perceptions of them as bullies or mavericks
|Corporate communications and relationships with stakeholders
|Employee relations and visions of the potential of others
|Due diligence around proposed investments
|The impact and nature of new personal relationships
|Maintaining focus during separation and divorce
|Leaders' attitudes and their impact on others and on their business
|The impact and ethics of corporate decisions
|Spheres of influence
|Personal networks and their management
|Evaluating career opportunities
|Exploring alternative careers and lifestyles
|Hunting for, and securing, new employment
|Relationships with key peers and bosses
|Handling media and public performances
|Balancing self- and corporate- promotion
|Understanding the position of others