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An Advisers Life – Are You Hiring A Thoroughbred Or A Donkey?

Let me begin by saying I am not an equestrian expert. Nor do I have anything for or against any type of horses, or donkeys for that matter.  To be truthful I haven’t ridden a horse since I was in summer camp as a kid.  However, I do find this particular comparison of this animal interesting as I attempt to communicate the importance of how you look at who you are going to hire as your Family Adviser.

The analogy was actually given to me by a parent a few days ago as we went through the mutual interview process.  I will paraphrase his comments and comparisons here for sake of clarity and keeping it “G” rated.

There is are very big differences between the Thoroughbred horse and the Donkey.  Those differences do not begin and end with one simply looking better than the other.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all.

The Thoroughbred is a highly trained, experienced, focused and tactical animal.  The Thoroughbred Family Adviser is also highly trained either as a former player, or other hockey industry professional.  They gain that experience over time, keeping focused on the clients goals.  They are extremely tactical in nature, and because they are tactical they run in the highest stakes races with their clients.

Starting from the outside, or inside track does not matter to the Thoroughbred.  They can adapt because they have been trained and have the experience to do so.

Every other thoroughbred in the barn knows him.  They may not like each other but the talent is always respected because they have earned the right to run in the high stakes races.

The Donkey on the other hand is not the highly trained and experienced tactical animal.  They are used to carry baggage.  They do not run in the high stakes races.  They wouldn’t be able to find the high stakes race track unless they were lead there, and even then couldn’t run with the Thoroughbreds.

Unfortunately, the person I was speaking to the other day had the experience of talking to a Donkey before we had a chance to speak.  The Donkey was holding himself out to be something he was not.  The Donkey was saying he was ready to run high stakes races, but has never been to the high stakes track.  The Donkey was saying he was ready to race with other Thoroughbreds, but he had no experience or training.

You can not purchase a Thoroughbred for the price of a Donkey.  If you are being sold by an Adviser on “price”, you may have purchased a Yugo in the past as well, and we know how that worked out.

Experience can be measured.  It can be measured in accomplishments.  Not accomplishments from ten or twenty years ago and nothing recent, but from a lifetime of accomplishments in the game.  Accomplishments as a player, coach, general manager, owner, and executive.

Experience can be gauged in how an Adviser understands the culture.  The culture of players and coaches.  If you have never been in the dressing room, or on the bench in any real capacity, you will never understand the culture.  If you don’t understand the culture, you can never do the job as an Adviser.

Donkeys make a lot of noise and snip at people, while the Thoroughbred is out running races.  Donkeys just run through things without understanding what they are running through, while Thoroughbreds run tactically.  Donkeys reproduce more Donkeys, Thoroughbreds produce other Thoroughbreds.

Do not be taken by people who are hanging their shingles and calling themselves Advisers.  You can put all the roses you want on the back of a Donkey and they will never win the Kentucky Derby.

Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser

[email protected]

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