Friday, May 1, 2009

The Successful Consultant

I started this blog to build credibility for myself and my ideas so that I could market my seminars. I intended to write about esoteric and spiritual principles; how they could be applied to business situations. However, whenever I sat down at the computer I had other thoughts I wanted to express. Today, I am going to focus on business; I want to offer some of my secrets on how to be a successful consultant (SC).

I've been a successful consultant. Most consultants use consulting as a way to get a job, or as a bridge between jobs. I actually have worked as a consultant for forty years; during this time, I have worked with over two hundred different companies of all sizes. In most of my assignments I've worked directly with presidents or owners of small to medium sized businesses. Most chief executives have similar problems even though they feel they are unique; that they need someone experienced in their industry to understand what is required to help them.

The basic problems I have observed include the following:

1- Businesses do not present their offering clearly.

2- The owners have never considered what they really want from their business.

3- The employees are not clear what is expected of them. They fall into habitual patterns of activity; their results are not nearly what they could or should be but are enough so that they can keep their jobs.

4-The top executives are unsatisified with their employees; the employees feel the top executives don't listen.

5-When things are going well, owners attribute their success to their efforts and skills. When things are going bad, they attribute the downturn to forces beyond their control.

6-Change is nearly impossible because everyone in a company feels they don't have enough time to do their existing job, let alone add more or new responsibilities.

7-Appearances are given more value than substance so that the better looking, better liked and more confident employees are overvalued while the quieter, more reliable plodders are undervalued.

8-More emphasis is placed on seeing what's wrong with each department or employee than searching for hidden abilities and strengths.

9-An incredible amount of time and money is wasted in meetings, programs, projects, initiatives, conversations, and report. There is very little understanding of what is a productive activity. (an activity that actually results in more money being made.)

10-The importance of preserving physical, emotional, and intellectual energy is not understood. In the final analysis, results that can be controlled depend on the collective energy of employees. Lip service is given to physical and psychological health, but not enough effort is focused on maintaining or improving overall health and vitality.

I could go on indefinitely. There is no shortage of problems. Matter of fact, it is surprising to me that companies do as well as they do. The successful consultant learns to point out these problems directly and clearly in a way that doesn't alienate or offend the owners. The SC works shoulder to shoulder with the key individuals to make breakthroughs in their attitudes and behavior. The SC does not present long reports or detailed analyses. The SC does not give the appearance of working long and hard; the SC actually makes a difference. It is rare to find a SC. If you know anyone who needs one have them call me.

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea any of this was reality until I met you. Your top ten list fits evey company I worked for. I will keep this in mind as I develop my companies and I thank you for the continued friendship and clarity.