The advisor also needs to make a shift from being a decision-maker, to having no formal authority or having only perceived authority. Practitioners are used to getting things done by making decisions, which they have the authority to make. For example, judges will make a decision in the courtroom based on rules, practices and their own analysis of the situation. As a seasoned practitioner, you enjoy the formal authority to delegate, make decisions, or manage the performance of your staff. You will also have the authority to make projects or activities move forward in order to meet specific goals. In this case, the relationship between the activities and the outcome is relatively straightforward.
As an advisor, however, you will be expected to foster the development of desirable outcomes without any formal authority or decision-making power. In order to be able to do so, you will need to find ways to support reform activities by using a range of tools such as credibility and legitimacy, and to establish yourself as a useful resource. These tools should be developed and sustained throughout your role as an advisor.
Advisors may also encounter instances where they will be perceived as the authority by local counterparts, who are eager to follow every proposal made by the advisor. This situation could be avoided by engaging and consulting with your local counterparts as much as possible before proposing options, and by articulating ideas clearly. Bear in mind that you do not hold the key to all the solutions. You should therefore avoid presenting yourself, or being perceived, as someone who does.