3Q Book Review: The Trusted Advisor

April 16, 2010

The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister, Robert Galford, and Charles Green

What’s the point? A friend of my boss recommended this book as “the bible of the professional service firm.” I have to admit it’s the first time I thought of my company that way. After reading it, I heartily agree. The book talks about the levels of relationship you can have with your clients, why and how you might improve those, and talks a lot about the ultimate level – the trusted advisor. This is not about tricking anyone; it’s about being earning the right to be someone that others deeply trust.

How was it? I hated the first half of the book. Of course I want to be a trusted advisor. Of course it’s important. I know what wonderful things will happen when I achieve this. Yeah, I get it. The second half of the book was brilliant … really dove into the how with excellent examples from the authors’ careers. I saw a lot of things I have done poorly in this regard and gave me some advice on how to get better.

Who should read it? Anyone in a professional services firm – except for my competitors of course! Maybe anyone in a mentoring or teaching role too… Screw it: anyone who cares about improving the quality of relationships around them.