Tag Archives: Professionalism

7 Reasons Young Consultants Fail

Reading the newspaper, one of the Reasons Young Consultants Fail
Reasons Young Consultants Fail

In my twenty years of consulting, I’ve seen many consultants come and go. Some decide that it’s not for them. For others, the decision is made for them. A client may kick the consultant off the project, or the firm may remove them as a form of damage control.

Every consultant struggles to some degree in his or her first year. With any new position, it takes time to learn the ropes. But some just don’t learn. I’ve written before in this blog about consultants that just “don’t get it.” These are the things those consultants do – or don’t do – to cause them to fail early on.
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5 Consulting Career Secrets

Consulting Career Secrets
Consulting Career Secrets

I’ve witnessed many stories of success and failure in consulting. I’ve found that some people flourish in consulting while others either fail or get stuck in a purgatory-like existence. These people neither succeed nor completely fail. They are simply unhappily stuck in the same position indefinitely.

I’ve found that the ones who succeed are the ones that have figured out the consulting career secrets that propel their career success higher than the average consultant. Here are five of the consulting career secrets that I’ve seen those people follow.
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5 Difficult Client types and How to Deal with Them

Holding up a boulder representing a difficult client
Dealing with difficult clients

Over my 20+ years of consulting, I’ve dealt with many types of clients. Most have been good clients. They were cooperative and wanted to solve problems in a collaborative environment.

Every once in a while, I’ve run into one that isn’t so cooperative. Perhaps they had a personal agenda. Maybe they had personal issues they were dealing with.

Whatever the issue, they succeeded in making my life there a living hell. Over the years, I’ve been able to categorize them into five distinct groups.
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6 Reasons You Suck as a Consultant

you suck as a consultant
Do you suck as a consultant?

As we recover from the Great Recession of 2008-2009, unemployment continues to inch downward. Lingering effects remain, however. Many people who were unable to find jobs with traditional employers became consultants. Some were consultants in name only. They had no paying clients, but showed the title to fill the resume gap. Others were successful in finding clients. But were they successful in keeping those clients?

Consulting involves more than just offering your labor and knowledge for a fee. A consultant must focus on the client’s issues and make the client’s success a priority. You may call yourself a consultant. But it is still possible that you suck as a consultant.

Here are six ways that could mean you suck as a consultant.

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6 Reasons Client Employees Hate Consultants

hate consultants
Why client employees hate consultants

When a consultant shows up at a new client, it’s always a good idea to have one’s guard up. It’s very possible that he or she is entering hostile territory. It’s nothing personal. Okay, maybe it’s a little personal. You did decide to become a consultant after all.

I used to wonder why clients distrusted us consultants so much. Over the years I learned that it was a combination of past experience, confusion, and a little over-generalization. One of the major causes is, like any category of people, there are always some people in a group that give everyone a bad name.
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5 Things I Hate About Consulting

hate about consulting
What I hate about consulting: Enemy status

Since I wrote the first edition of Consulting 101 in 2010, an updated 2nd Edition this year, over 200 consulting-related blogs, and recording over fifty podcasts on Consulting and Professional Services Radio, I have done a lot to profess my love for the consulting profession.

As in any profession however, there are a few things that I hate about consulting.
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How the Client Senses the Consultant Spy

consultant spy
The consultant spy

In the book Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the 5th book of the insanely popular series by J. K. Rowling, a new teacher is introduced. Professor Umbridge becomes a formidable antagonist in the story.

She is appointed by Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge, initially as a teacher of Defense against the Dark Arts. She later becomes Headmaster of Hogwarts. During her tenure, she was known to hold a clipboard as she observed the students’ behavior, taking notes, but not revealing any of her thoughts.
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Is That an Employee or Consultant?

employee or consultant
Is that an employee or consultant?

When I started my career in consulting, I was part of a consulting team. We went to the client and worked as a blended team where there were approximately half of us as consultants and half as client employees.

It wasn’t long until I realized that some of the folks that I considered client employees were actually consultants, either independent contractors or employed with other firms. I didn’t know if a person was an employee or consultant.
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Professionalism in Consulting

Professionalism in Consulting
Professionalism in Consulting

I’ve commented in my book and in this blog about working with difficult clients (see The Client Jerk).  One concern I’ve had about focusing on this topic too much is that readers – especially those who are just considering a career in consulting – will walk away with the impression that all clients are bullies who only hire consultants to use as scapegoat to generally mistreat.

The truth is that most clients and their employees are kind, rational human beings.  They welcome consultants into their place of business and appreciate the expertise the consultant brings to the table to help them achieve their objectives.
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