Who is on your braintrust?
I got asked this question a while ago by a mentor of mine. At the time I did not know what he meant – and I surely didn’t have one.
Commonly we refer to “a group of experts appointed to advise a government or politician” as a braintrust. Having such a group of trusted minds expanding and challenging your views and believes is insanely valuable. Sometimes your mentors and advisors can play this role – I would argue that there is value in creating a dedicated group of people who are curated specifically for the purpose to push you and your thinking by 10x. My mentors and advisors provide me guidance in the day-to-day and longer-term planning; my braintrust kicks my thinking to a whole new level.
With my braintrust, I explore “the beyond” – the things which are beyond the daily business and even my longer-term planning. They challenge many of my deeply held believes and allow me to see the world not just from a 30,000ft view but from outer space (to stay in the metaphor). After every such conversation, I am not only completely reinvigorated but armed with food-for-thought for the next weeks and even months.
Which is the reason why a good braintrust can be invaluable – and also something you will only engage with occasionally (remember: you will be deeply challenged – and it will take time for you to process and act accordingly). I am blessed with some incredible human beings supporting me. And I highly recommend you set up your own braintrust. It has been an amazing asset for me.