75 F
Saint Louis
Sunday, June 4, 2023

Kings & Candidates: The Naked Truth of Bad Advisors

Choosing the right friends, advisors and consultants can be one of the most important decisions you make in life. The people you surround yourself with can have a profound impact on your success, your happiness, and your overall well-being. As Marcus Cicero once said, “Be careful in the choice of your advisors; seek out wise men and be guided by their counsel.”

But what does it mean to choose advisors wisely? It’s not just about finding people who are successful or well-connected; it’s about finding people who are truly loyal to you and your values. The people you choose to listen too should be more than just “yes men” who tell you what you want to hear; they should be loyal, above all, to the truth. Because when your advise and counsel is coming from someone who is loyal to the truth, they help you stay accountable to your code of ethics and morality.

Loyalty to the truth means being honest, even when it’s hard. It means speaking up when you see something that’s not right, even if it’s unpopular or inconvenient. It means holding yourself  and others accountable for their actions, even when it’s uncomfortable, And wen you have advisors who are loyal to the truth, they can help you stay on the right path, even when it’s tempting to stray.

Choosing advisors who are loyal to the truth is especially important in the world of politics and business, where the temptations of power and self-interest can be strong. It’s all too easy for advisors to become self-serving narcissists who prioritize their own interests over yours. And if you have these kind of advisors, it can become the case where their advice and counsel fuels your own narcissism as they allow your mind to run down the path of entitlement. If this happens, you’ll find yourself getting angry at the people who do speak up and tell you things aren’t right.

It reminds me of the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes in which a king was lead to believe that he had on a beautiful raiment but only the “enlightened” could see it. And although the king couldn’t see it himself, that wouldn’t stop him from pretending that he did so he could feed his own narcissism. After parading himself down the city street completely naked, a young boy asked where his clothes were and the king was forced to see himself for what he actually was – a fool. In some versions of the story, the king, angered with everyone else for seeing his foolishness, doubles down and insists his clothes are real, which in turn has his closest advisors and friends all agreeing that his clothes are real so they stay in his good graces.  If only the king had the humility inquire as to whether or not there were really any clothes to begin with, he would have saved himself the trouble of campaigning down the middle of the street in his willful ignorance only to present himself a fool before his subjects.

I once lost a friend because I told him that the people he was surrounding himself with were looking out for themselves – wanting him to spend his money on their so-called “advice.” I felt we were close enough that I could tell him he was being used, but like the emperor who’s own narcissism caused him to put on clothes he couldn’t see, my old friend told me that he could see that these consultants were bad and that he was the one who was cleverly using them. “I’m not spending a penny of my own money on this campaign” he told me. But then, he would up spending millions of his own money on his campaign and was left right where he started only naked by several million dollars.

I have had advisors tell me they were all in on campaigns only to be deserted once I stepped beyond the point of no return. It happens to so many people in politics. In 2021 I had coffee with a candidate for the Missouri General Assembly who had hired a some campaign consultants only to have someone offer the consultants a bigger monthly check to sit on their hands and do nothing for the candidate that had actually hired them. Why? Because a wealthy individual wanted the candidate to lose to his son who was also in the race. The consultants chose to take the bigger check thus leaving this young candidate for office completely alone and isolated. The candidate won however because he worked hard, driven in part by the fact that he wasn’t going to let someone else’s narcissism and money end his desire to be a public servant. We need more people committed to pushing through the swampy characters in the world of politics in pursuit of what’s right.

When the emperor was presented with clothes that only the enlightened could see, he should have had some serious questions to ask to ensure he was being told the truth. The Bible says “A gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.”(Exodus 23:8) Be wary of people ready to doll out money, give you “inside” information, or hand you something that makes you think that they think your really special. This is what people do when they want to manipulate you and like the Bible says, this is how even the wise and the righteous find themselves on a corrupted path that gives people a perverted sense of direction.

Choosing friends and advisors who are truly loyal to you and the truth is one of the most important and best decisions you can make. These are the people who will help you stay on the right path, even when it’s hard They will hold you accountable to your values and help you achieve so much more.

Paul Curtman is a veteran of the U. S. Marine Corps, an author, conference speaker, and statesman. For nearly 20 years, Paul has helped lead and develop leaders in the United States military, public service sectors, and business. Paul is a strong advocate for personal and economic freedom as well as the strength and integrity of the free market system. He is a Fellow at Club for Growth in Washington D.C. and currently lives in Missouri with his wife, Ruth, and their four children.


Latest news


Related news