I’m a Software Engineer with a leading Australian technology company. I’m smart, skilful, hard-working… but these are not enough to be a good consultant. Luckily, after listening from an experienced coach, I got some really insightful ideas. Here is the lesson I learnt with three levels:
At the senior level, you bring high values to the clients with more than one skill set. We’re human, not tools, who should have more than one talent anyway. With all the previous work experience from a variety of clients, you understand the current problem with a unique perspective, different from the client’s employee. You know what works and what doesn’t work, know what the client likes and what don’t like, you know what the client truly needs and what the consulting company really good at. Build trust with culture awareness.
At the highest level, you are like the loyalist of the King. Even though the King doesn’t like to hear the truth, you have to tell him. And if shit happens, no matter the consultant tells everyone the problem in advance or not, it’s your fault anyway from the client’s perspective, as people don’t naturally blame themselves and never admit they are wrong. You may not like the client in person, but you have to love the client. Understand why they do certain things and recommend loudly what is good for the company with compassion. Love is a strong word, but this makes business human. You are not just caring about yourself, you care about the success of the client. If the client wins, you win.
Overall, it’s really fucking hard to get to the highest level. You have to know better, bring the skills and high values to the client, to the consultant company, and to yourself as a win-win situation. It’s not easy and gonna takes years of practices to achieve, but I’ll keep these consulting rules in my mind.