I have a “no electronics” rule at our dinner table with my kids. We turn off the TV, we don’t answer the phone and, above all, no cell phones. Any texts or phone calls they receive from their friends can wait thirty minutes or so while we sit and talk uninterrupted as a family. We must be some alien form, because whenever one of their friends joins us for dinner and pulls out their cell phone to answer a text, they look at me like I have three heads when I tell them the rule. Continue reading The Impossible Goal of Multitasking→
When I started out in consulting many years ago, the dress code was very simple. You wore a suit and tie every day; even if you were on the bench, sitting in the office all day. After all, you never knew when a client would show up for a meeting. It wasn’t a whole lot different for women. They wore skirt suits and high-heels. While they didn’t wear ties, they often wore those bow thingies that looked and felt like ties. Continue reading The Consulting Dress Code→
For those old enough to remember Jimmy Buffett, but are unfamiliar with him, most would probably think he’s a washed up musician from the 70s who should probably be making either the local festival concert circuit or appearances on reality TV shows. In reality, he’s going almost as strong as he ever has. He had big hits in the 70s including “Margaritaville” and “Come Monday”, which still get radio airplay. But at the age of 64 he shows no sign of slowing down. Continue reading The Jimmy Buffett Approach to Career Management→
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but one of my favorite shows is Celebrity Apprentice. Not that I think it’s quality TV by any means; I just get a kick out of seeing how petty some of these washed up rock stars and former Playboy models can act on national television.
I started as a Consultant right out of college. I interviewed with several of the top firms but my grades weren’t good enough – and I probably interviewed horribly – so I never got past the screening interviews. I ended up being hired by an excellent boutique firm and eventually got in to a top firm after getting a few years of good consulting experience under my belt. Continue reading My 5 Biggest Surprises from Consulting→
Communication is an important facet of developing relationships with your clients. What some consultants don’t understand is that little things they do – or don’t do – can affect their credibility and their professional reputation negatively. Here are five subtle things you can do that make a big difference in establishing your image as a professional as well as earning the client’s trust.
One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from new consultants is the inability to fit in at the client site. Going from client to client, they always felt like an outsider and never felt a sense of community.
I remember early in my career, I was talking to a client and he asked me what consulting was like. I explained to him that I go to different clients and work on projects for periods of a couple of days to as long as a year. It depended on the nature of the client’s need and what they needed me for. I explained how the work was different at each project and that I worked with a different group of people each time.
It hasn’t happened often, but I’ve worked with some very unreasonable clients. Either they have exaggerated expectations of their highly paid consultants, or they know that they can get away with abuse without the threat of us going to Human Resources. I’ve never taken it personally and I’ve found that if I look closely enough, I’m not the only target for these people. Continue reading Keeping Your Cool Under Pressure→
It has often been said that success occurs when preparation meets opportunity. It’s always been one of my favorite sayings and I’m amazed how often it rings true.
How to be prepared as a meeting attendant
One of the most obvious settings where this occurs is in meetings. Most business meetings are scheduled through Outlook, Lotus Notes or some type of integrated calendaring software. Along with the invitation that comes in your email, there may be documents attached. This can be as simple as an agenda, or any number of documents that are intended to be reviewed during the meeting. Continue reading How To Be Prepared in Business→