5 Things My Mentors Have Taught Me

Mentors Have Taught
What My Mentors Have Taught Me

When I started out in consulting, I decided early on that I would seek out a mentor.  I must have been like the little bird in the children’s book Are You My Mother?” that goes from animal to animal seeking out its mother.  I had in my mind that there would be one person that would extol his or her wisdom to help me to launch my career.  After a few years, here is what my mentors have taught me:
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Everything I Need to Know About Networking I Learned from My High School Pals

Everything I Need to Know
Everything I Need to Know About Networking…

Last weekend I spend three days in Lexington and Louisville, KY with two life-long friends.  Jon and Robb have been friends of mine since grade school.  We were good friends through high school and were even roommates at various times through college.  One of the things we did was tour a whiskey distillery.  I’ve never been a whiskey drinker and a sample taste of it at the distillery confirmed that for me.  We also went through the Louisville Slugger bat factory and generally consumed mass quantities of unnecessary calories all weekend.
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Removal from a Client Project

Removal from a Client
Removal from a Client Project

It happens every once in a while.  A consultant is working with their project team and sometime during the project, the account manager speaks with the consultant and informs them that they are being rolled off of the project.

Reasons for a removal from a client

It can happen to ineffective consultants and they don’t usually last long with the firm.  But sometimes, the person just doesn’t mesh with the team or the client.  I’ve seen consultants taken off of projects for a number of reasons.  Perhaps they:

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3 Ways to Establish Consultant Credibility

Establish Consultant Credibility
3 Ways to Establish Consultant Credibility

Something that a consultant always strives for with their client is credibility.  That’s why client sales proposals almost always include things like the history of the firm and their previous clients.  Consulting firms want the client to know that they’ve been around the block a few times and have experience.
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The Impossible Goal of Multitasking

Multitasking
The Impossible Goal of Multitasking

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.
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The Consulting Dress Code

Consulting Dress Code
The Consulting Dress Code

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.
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The Jimmy Buffett Approach to Career Management

career management
The Jimmy Buffet approach to career management

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.
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Is Celebrity Apprentice good business training?

business training
Looking for some business training

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.

Celebrity Apprentice for business training?

I started watching it with my kids thinking there might be a small amount of business training.  Instead I generally use it to teach them how NOT to act when they get in the real world.
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My 5 Biggest Surprises from Consulting

Surprises from Consulting
My Five Biggest Surprises from Consulting

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.
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5 Steps to Better Client Communication

Better Client Communication
How to achieve better client communication

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.

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101 Tips for Success in Consulting