A new consultant was just born. He looks around – curious and frightened, excited, and uncertain. “Will I be successful?…”
The journey has just begun. It’s not just a journey, it’s the start of epic adventure.
In their book, First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, Marcus Buckinghamand and Curt Coffman break up the adventure into camps. First stop is the Base Camp.
First the consultant arrives at camp, where he gets trained. Most importantly he must be able to answer these two simple questions:
- Do I know what is expected of me at work?
- Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
What Does My Manager Expect From Me?
Setting mutual expectations with a manager is a good start for a consultant. Ask three simple questions when setting expectations with a manager:
- “What’s most important for you?”
- “What can I do to help you with this?”
- “What’s my next best move to start helping you with your most important thing?”
The consultant emails his manager and asks to set a follow up meeting. The consultant owns his own progress.
What Do I Need To Do My Best?
Simple question. Simple answer. The consultant makes friends.
- IT department. The consultant makes friends with the IT department. Computers and peripherals are tools of trade – when they are broken, the consultant is paralyzed. The consultant learns what IT guys value the most. The consultant builds trust with them playing by the rules.
- Sales. The consultant makes friends with the sales folks. The consultant wants to work on hot stuff–the stuff that sells. Sales guys know what’s hot. The consultant builds trust with sales by bringing business leads.
- Support. the consultant makes friend with support personnel. The consultant wants to make an impact. Removing pain is the most significant impact the consultant can make. Support guys know about pain–they live and breathe pain. The consultant builds trust with support folks by…go figure.
- Consultants. The consultant makes friends with another consultant who can mentor him. The guy has been around so he knows how it all works–he knows who, what, where, when, and how.
The consultant builds a strong internal support network. Once the network is built the consultant can leave the base camp with confidence.
Next stop is Camp 1. The schooling is over. Time for real education.
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain
Practice This – Get Results
- Ask your manager what bothers him most–be part of the solution.
- Build your internal network–it’ll never let you fall flat on your face.
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Editor in chief – Jimmy May