We hear about people “playing it safe” all the time. You hear it in investing scenarios when someone invests in vehicles that may not aggressively increase in value, but probably won’t lose value.
Sport team’s do it all the time. Football teams develop prevent defenses, which allow opposing teams to make short gains, but are prevented from making a long pass or score a touchdown in a single play. A short pass combined with a long run can backfire on them.
It’s been said that we get what we measure. That can be either good news or bad. If a consulting sales team is measured strictly on the sales revenue they bring in, you may get some sales people who go out and sell a lot of services. Whether they sell services that the firm can actually deliver is another issue.
We have a vision of success and how we will measure it. Then we drive people towards that vision. When we finally get to the finish line, the focus is on the measurement of success rather than what we really accomplished. We could experience failure and not really know it.
After a five-year stint away from consulting, I realized that I missed it. A lot. I enjoyed the two jobs I held during my little sabbatical and met some incredible people. But I didn’t find it as challenging and fulfilling as consulting.
So I’m now nearly two months into my consulting re-entry. I went in with more than a little cockiness. I had several years of consulting experience on my resume and thought I knew what I was doing. To a large extent, I did. But every firm has their own way of doing things. I was fortunate enough to join a great firm that has a unique way of doing things and sets their standards very high. Continue reading How I’ve Learned to Love Failing→