I have not blogged in a month because of international travel, 3 concurrent projects, and honestly, some of the toughest manager days I have ever had.  Got some new folks, a fairly ambiguous project, and a lack of thinking.  Sad, but true.  A lack of real thinking. Here is an unfiltered list of the #%^# I said to my teams over the last 3 weeks.

  • You are not thinking through the problem.  You need to think more.
  • If you are not proud of your work, then we have a problem.
  • If it’s not up to your expectation, then why would it be good enough for the client?
  • The client is paying $2K for your time today; you need to have a $10K day
  • I wanted to like this, but I don’t.
  • If you are confused, I will take 50% blame for it
  • Does it make sense to you?  How would you explain it to your nephew?
  • Don’t say that.  It’s not important what I think; does it make sense to you?
  • It’s not just the letter of the law, what is the spirit of the law?  What the purpose?
  • What about the false negatives? Are you basing all your analysis on just the data you got, but no judgment on the data that might be missing or we didn’t get?
  • Right.  It’s ambiguous, that’s where consultants use their judgment
  • Wouldn’t it be better to show the sub-total, and another section called “other”, so it shows a grand total of 100%?

Frankly, it was time for some tough love.  Consulting is an apprenticeship model, and I am confident these guys will be better because of it. There were a few highlights too, but not many. This is how I felt this month (except for the bald head and cane).

Managerial Emotions

As a side-bar, I am a big fan of team consultants.  Some consultants are SAFE – smart, aware, fun, and eager.  I love consultants who think through problems, fill in the white spaces.  I love consultants who go the extra mile, and do the work because it advances the thinking of the team.  I love consultants who are eager to learn from their seniors and soak in the coaching, the ones who are getting better daily.  Consultants who run hard and give their managers leverage.  Consultant – damn it – be a professional.

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