Being a success at the Consulting Firm – Reality Check


Every big consulting firm  is a political environment. So does being successful mean you have to suck up, lie, or sling dirt? Yes it does. But you already know that.  So let’s move on to what you don’t know.
Tips for making it. 

  • Build and maintain relationships. Spend $50 dollars a month on lunch with each colleague to stay close to them. Or even better, if you spend $200 dollars on drinks, you can likely take any necessary photos for blackmail purposes.
  • Have a goal. Be clear about what you want, so when you go get it, you know exactly who to step on along the way.
  • Listen. Keep your ears open to what’s going around you. What are people talking about? What best practices are being shared? What ideas can you steal from them and claim as your own?
  • Keep track of buzzwords used by every executive and include them in every email and document you create. (and of course make sure you Reply-All on every email and add a distribution list or two each time)
  • Create a support system. Partner up with colleagues and peers who will help you with your vision. That way when you’ve accomplished your objectives, you can take credit for everything.
  • Make sure you are not actually a consultant. If you generate too much billable revenue, they will want to keep it and you’ll never get promoted.

The above is courtesy of The O’Shea Report Comedy Team 

The O’Shea report pokes fun at corporate consulting, but some of the items are a little too close to reality for comfort and you may actually recognize some of the behaviors.  Last year I wrote a post entitled Just because you are necessary, does that make you valuable? which talked about what establishes your true value to your client and the importance of being able to communicate it. It does however require some updates/extensions to it’s “good guys always win” approach to make it pass a reality check. 

The extension is this. Your true value and your ability to communicate it to your client is in fact the most important element, however there are likely two clients. The one you bill your time to and the internal one that pays you, if you work for a consulting firm. Here are the elements to consider in addition to your external client value. Your internal value calculates all of the elements of your core consulting abilities and  then looks for internal attributes such as:

  • Results: Do you produce results that provide a clear benefit to your firm. If so, is it measured and communicated?
  • Reputation: Are key decision-makers and firm executives aware of your contributions?
  • Knowledge: Do you possess unique information that is useful to your organization?
  • Attitude: Are you viewed by almost everyone as helpful and cooperative?
  • Networks: Do you know many people throughout your organization?
  • Empathy: Do people come to you for help with their problems or concerns?
  • Inclusion: Are you successful at including people in your decisions, initiatives or projects?
  • Detachment: Are you known as someone who can see situations objectively?
  • Team: Are you someone that will “take one for the team” and you have demonstrated it?

Want to be a real asset to your firm?  Be aware of both of your clients’ needs and work to maximize the results in each.

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1 Response to Being a success at the Consulting Firm – Reality Check

  1. Pingback: Infinite Shades of Grey – A year later and a little greyer | Infinite Shades of Grey

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