Leadership Lessons from consultants in business series – Part one: Knowing the basics
Although many consultants carve out their whole career within a big firm or even potentially setting up their own freelance boutique firms, there is a growing trend for consultants to move into corporate businesses themselves. The vast array of skills that consultants can bring to the board room from their experience of advising many different types of board rooms across industry sectors make them extremely valuable in the corporate world.
Interested in becoming a consultant?
We’ve taken a look at the advice given by some of the top CEOs who have consulting backgrounds for those looking at making the switch. What are the most important things to be aware of when moving from a firm into a leadership role in a corporate business?
Knowing the basics
- Know the Values and Culture of the Company – All employees need to deeply understand what the company is based on but this is even more important for leadership teams. This is because the values and culture of the company create the boundaries for what you can and cannot do. Those who are leading in an organisation uncertain of these essential principles are wasting a lot of time – both their own and the company’s.
- Importance of Speed and Efficiency – All businesses need to take care of the details, but speed and efficiency in decision making is vital for business leaders. Without it, companies begin to stagnate and ideas and proposals get lost at the middle level. Many CEO’s highly regard leaders that can implement quickly. They recognise the importance of pitching together strong quality processes but without jeopardising the ability to move quickly and be decisive. Many leaders have a self-confessed low tolerance threshold for ‘slothful’, and I must admit, i’m one of those people.
- Accept that organizations move slowly – This is probably one of the harder things for consultants to grasp when moving into corporate business. Speed and efficiency in completing your own responsibilities is paramount but do not expect that change will happen overnight. Large organisations need time to adapt and implement change. I have had to learn this and remind myself even to this day, not all companies are going to implement all your advise with speed or efficiency, therefore, move on to the next step or area in the company and don’t let that slow you down.
- Know your staff – Leaders who inspire confidence are those who engage with the whole range of employees who are involved in their company. Leadership teams should want to meet those who are out there doing the job the company is involved in; getting out in the field to really know how how work is done and meet those implementing it “it the trenches”. One cannot know “what is working or not” is they aren’t out there seeing it for themselves.
Positivity & Follow Through
- Positive image on all fronts – Leaders must ensure they are presenting a consistently positive image. This means showing that the business is competitive and responsible not only employees within your own building but across the organisation, including suppliers and stakeholders as well as the local and global community.
- Getting Paid- Olivia International Inc. works very hard to provide the best consulting services for all our clients. We also understand that it is not always about the money. Now don’t get us wrong…we are in business to make money! But, the difference with us is, that we don’t believe in quantity, we believe in “quality” service and “follow through”. We may take on less clients at one time, not because we can’t take on more, it’s because we provide the “follow through” service that sets us apart from the rest. We are not only here to consult, but we are here to help guide you through implementation process as well. We take pride in following through on our commitment to make sure you get what you paid for. Unlike many who advise, hand you a presentation for what you should do, and don’t care if its implemented, utilized or even working properly. That’s not our style! When you hire Olivia International Inc. we are here for as long as you need us. We make sure that what we teach is utilized, so that we can walk alway knowing we did the best we could in helping you succeed.
Wishing you ultimate success!