While in India with an accountant and his client, I observed a classic “trusted advisor” moment. The client is the chief executive of one of the largest family-owned businesses in India. As an aside during our meeting, the CEO mentioned to his accountant that he would be going to Tokyo on a Thursday for some negotiations with the company’s most important potential business partner. The CEO would then be returning on Friday morning, little more than 24 hours after his arrival. The accountant listened carefully to the plan and said simply: “No. You will not come home Friday. You will instead spend the weekend in Tokyo with the executives of the other business.”Without hesitation, the CEO lifted his cell phone and said to his secretary: “Please change my return flight to Monday morning.”

Our meeting then continued.

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