20 lessons from 20 years: Part 2
Wow, how the world has changed in just a few weeks! In last month's edition of "20 lessons from 20 years," I shared my top 5 lessons learned about self, and this month I talk about clients — the perfect topic for our current environment. During times of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty, our clients look to us for guidance and calm reassurance as we focus on doing the next right thing.
Think about the last time you helped someone (i.e. friend, family member, or even client) work through a really tough time. Did it take your relationship to a whole new level? That has certainly been my experience. So, without further ado, here are my top lessons learned over the last 20 years regarding clients:
Lesson 6: Be a problem solver.
In the world of consulting, I feel like I’ve done my job if the client doesn’t have to ask me for updates on the project — and better yet, is pleasantly surprised when I provide reports they can share with their leadership. One of the best compliments I received years ago was "you took care of this before I realized we needed to do it," followed by "I’ve put a bungee cord on your back, so even if you think you’re going to another project, I’ll make sure you bounce back here, to keep us moving forward."
Lesson 7: Communicate often.
People don’t choose to work in consulting if they want to work in isolation. As a child, I loved team sports, games with the family, and gatherings with friends. In each scenario, it’s all about bringing different skills, ideas, personalities, and lots of communication. For example, in one of my favorite sports, soccer, we were always talking with each other, coaching, encouraging, and focusing on the goal across the field. I know my teams often tease me that I have rose-colored glasses or that my glass is not half empty or half full, but overflowing, but I prefer to believe that people really do have the best intentions in mind and want to contribute to the bigger purpose.
Lesson 8: Be authentic.
Being my authentic (and true) self lets me enjoy what I do every day — at work, at home, and in volunteer and committee sessions. I always tell my teams to just be open and honest, put their thoughts and suggestions out there, and don’t make me guess. And if they’re bringing me problems (a squeaky wheel), also bring some solutions (the oil can). As Henna Inam shares in this Wharton article, “consulting firms can create significant value through the practice of authenticity.”
Lesson 9: Nurture partnerships.
I view this journey that we're on together as an adventure, and my curiosity will always drive me to meet new people and seek new ideas, yet also continue to build and nurture existing relationships. How does that song go that we learned in kindergarten … "make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver, and the other’s gold." I strongly believe that partnerships and alliances allow for growth all around — we’re not in this alone, and it’s all about teams.
Lesson 10: Practice consistency.
“Part of courage is simple consistency,” wrote Peggy Noonan. Our clients expect us to be dependable, intentional, dedicated, accountable — and nothing is more effective than consistency to make us their trusted advisors. Consistency is the habit that leads to successful projects. It really is that simple — do our best work, do it every time, aim high, and stay there. We’ve all been there — you have a favorite restaurant, perhaps that taco truck up the street, and you expect them to deliver that same delicious burrito al pastor filled with avocado every time. The consistency in their product and cheerful service is what makes me go back to them again and again.
In part 3, coming on April 20, I'll share five of my biggest lessons learned about PEOPLE. Stay tuned!
Curious about consultant life at Logic20/20?
Read what it's like to work for us.
Managing Director Anisha Weber has over 25 years of digital transformation experience in technology and consulting, leading tactical and strategic initiatives.