Steal from the consultant playbook, please

I was struck by the muses while waiting at the San Francisco Airport to record this on-the-go video with a simple message: Management consultants are in great demand because they develop skills and adopt practices that you too can develop and adopt — pick and choose from their playbook.

I spend a big chunk of my time helping others develop these skills and am convinced that they truly unlock leadership potential.

Here, you can watch the video and read the transcript.

On-the-go video

Transcript — steal from the consultant playbook

Airports — the natural habitat of management consultants. Believe me, I know: I spent 10 years with McKinsey & Company and that was before I started my own company. Every Monday morning, a small army would fly out to their respective clients, and then at the end of the workweek, they would fly back to home base. 

There are way too many jokes about management consultants, but instead of going there, let’s consider 3 facts: 

  1. Management consulting is a multibillion-dollar industry — executives across sectors, industries, and functions repeatedly retain management consultants.

  2. Companies are aggressively hiring former consultants. I know from experience there is an entire cottage industry of headhunters that specializes in pursuing consultants. 

  3. When hired by companies, former consultants tend to do extremely well and rise in the organization. 

So, what is it that consultants bring?

Well, beyond their legendary work ethic, they bring — you guessed it — 3 things: 

  1. An independent point of view and the courage to express it, 

  2. An outside perspective informed by experience across industries and companies,

  3. A strategic decision-making process grounded in solid problem solving, effective communications and engagement, and disciplined process management. 

And here is the thing, you don’t need to be a management consultant to steal a few pages from their playbook. You don’t need to take the jokes, you don’t need to live on a plane — you can just choose the things that serve you.

Original video by Aneta Key recorded in 2016. This blog post last edited August 2019. Aneta Key is a strategy management consultant, facilitator, and trainer who blogs about business and professional growth.