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In a guest post on Spin Sucks a few weeks ago, Laura Petrolino wrote about vision, goals, and gold medals.

In it, she talked about how your vision dictates your goals dictates your ability to win.

She listed four things every leader should do to help increase success, including allow imperfection and to study history.

But the one that has stuck with me since I read the post was, “Have a devil’s advocate.”

She says:

We all know about “yes” men, but do you have “no” men? This is someone, or a group of people, you can trust to help you step out of your own head, and clearly examine the situation objectively. These are people who will not only tell you where weak spots might be, but help you actively see them on your own by being able to clearly communicate in a way that resonates.

This is advice every leadership book and coach in the world gives.

  • Don’t hire people who are going to tell you what you want to hear.
  • Hire people who are smarter than you.
  • Create a team of people who are going to push back and play devil’s advocate.

Having a Devil’s Advocate is Hard

I have taken this advice. In fact, my entire team is made up of devil’s advocates. And, let me tell you, it’s hard.


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About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communication firm. She is the lead blogger at PR and marketing blog, Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing In the Round, and co-host of Inside PR, a weekly podcast about  communications and social media. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is now available.