I went on a 6 mile run. It was cathartic, and just what I needed before my client meeting this morning. The weather was awesome, and my (somewhat) crappy hotel was actually right by a lake with tons of bridges, boats, and bi-planes. See some of the pics below. Power of the unconscious mind.
Take care of your health. When consultants travel, we eat too much, eat too rich, drink too much, and sleep too little. All bad things. Fat consultants are typical. It’s worth the extra luggage weigh to bring shoes and shorts. If you are on a longer-term project, bring an extra bag and leave it with the doorman. I was once staffed on a project where I have a full duffel bag of tennis shoes, flip flops, tennis racquet, and even board games.
Let’s your unconscious do some of the work. Consultants are lateral thinkers who can tie together seemingly disparate ideas into new, innovative ways to solve problems. That does not come through brute force. Sometimes, you have to sleep on it. Sometimes, you need to go on a long-run and see what comes of it. Some people call it the tortoise mind, which moves slowly, but serendipitous towards the answer.
Tap into that power. Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud talked about the power of the unconscious, saying that it was much more powerful than our waking, logical brain. Taoists talk about finding “the way”, trying to achieve flow. Even Yoda talked about using the “force”
Consultants are not hippies. Clearly, clients pay us to be fairly type-A. We are organized, logical thinkers, with clear communication skills. We are a pretty calculated lot, and like to exceed expectations through exhaustive preparation. Yes, we are more like yuppies than hippies. We will also err on the side of thoughtfulness and logic.
But don’t be afraid to use your whole brain. That said, we should all be self-aware to know that our best work is not always done when we are trying to focus on it. Sometimes, we get great results when we let the problem simmer and stew in our mind. It can be a good idea to sleep on the problem, or think about it while running around a lake – not sitting in the (crappy) hotel room.