I know one thing for sure about you. You have great value to offer your current and future clients. You can sense it, right? You can feel it…your track record tells you it’s true. You see so many other people out there making tons of money consulting and you think to yourself, “Why not me?” (Even if you already have earned money consulting.) I know that you see your potential and you have the mojo to go after it. Yet something is getting in your way.
Mojo is such a great word when it comes to pursuing big dreams like building a thriving consulting practice. It’s not just about courage. It’s that magic power and “it” factor that is so crucial when going into the unknown world of both starting a consulting practice and then taking success to a whole new level.
But you experience what I call the 3 “S’s” That Steal Mojo. You feel stupid because you don’t know how to get your value out to the world....
The one question I am asked almost weekly is, “How do I get started in Organization Development?” After 20 years in the field, I am starting to see that to excel as an organizational consultant is less about specialized knowledge and skills and more about a way of perceiving and thinking. Let me explain.
The best consultants I have worked do not all have masters’ degrees. Some don’t even have undergraduate degrees. What they do have in common are these five attributes:
It’s Sunday night and that dread is kicking in. All the responsibilities that you once were able to manage so effortlessly are starting to drain you. You feel lost wondering where all your passion went. Do you need a vacation or it is something more?
If this sounds like you, there is a good chance that you are more than tired. You are burnt out.
And I get it. I have been there, done that and have not just the t-shirt but the whole clothing line! Stress today IS for real getting worse. The pressure for delivering immediate and ongoing results at work AND managing the complexity of home life is intense.
As a recovering burnt out high achieving woman, I wanted to share with you four soul-sucking myths about burnout and replace them with much needed truths that are grounded in scientific fact to help you rise above burnout and allow it to become an agent of transformation and growth.
MYTH #1: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BURN OUT
Burnout is real. It is more than being stressed. It is...
At some point or another, most high-achieving women have experienced burnout. Burnout is more than stress – it is excessive stress over a period of time that creates the conditions where the results that once came so naturally are almost impossible to come by. It is that sense of dread of burning the candles at both ends and not making any progress. It is that no-win guilt about never quite achieving that illusive work/life balance.
Most people who struggle with burnout don’t talk about it out of fear of being perceived as weak. But it is time to let science come in and bust that myth. Gender experts Louann Brizendine’s (author of “The Female Brain”) and Alison Armstrong have completely shifted my understanding of burnout so that I can appreciate the hidden gifts of burnout as well as create strategies for avoiding burnout in the future.
Here’s three insights from them that illustrate why burnout is actually...
How many times this week have you been asked, “How are you?” and have responded with all too familiar, “Busy!”
Whatever happened to the pat answer, “Fine?”
Our culture has become ridiculously busy and as a consequence many of us suffer from what can be referred to as an addiction to busyness.
We may FEEL time poor and stressed out. But here’s the kicker. For many of us, we are not too busy simply because we feel societal pressure or need better time management. It is because we are addicted to being busy. Like all addicts, we are not crazy about the effects on our health, performance and well-being. But we like the “high” that being busy gives us.
Let me share with you four reasons why this addiction, this “too busy addiction”, is so powerful and even better than crack.
1. There’s a feel good chemical hit when we get stuff done.
On the outside we feel that we are “at our best” when...
When I first officially launched my business and first significant website in 2010, I was thrilled when I immediately saw all of my hard work and investment pay off. I was amazed when people from all around the world that I did not know asked for my consulting help…all because they found me on my website. No one was more surprised than me when I landed my first 6-figure gig with a company in the UK, with a client I never even met in person. I can literally trace $500K in revenue to leads generated strictly through my website.
But (and here’s the big but!) I got a ton of “constructive” feedback on my website on everything from the photo on my home page (“You look too much like a party girl”) to the language I used in my value proposition (“I still don’t know what you do…”) And so I made changes. Big Mistake! Huge!
The result of me taking action on the “constructive feedback”: My organic search...
This week I met with three aspiring consultants who are very passionate about parlaying their experience to help companies create healthy work environments and engaged employees. They almost fell out their chairs when I told them that I am starting to see that employee engagement is actually unethical.
What I DON'T mean when I say this is that companies should not strive to have work environments free from unethical business practices and abusive and inconsiderate leaders who make their employees lives miserable. Providing safe work conditions, equitable pay and reasonable management should be considered “cover charges” for the privilege of hiring others to work for you.
What I think might be bordering on unethical is how organizations have shifted from employee satisfaction to employee engagement and how engagement goals might completely jack up our limbic systems. Let me explain.
Back in the early 2000’s, instead of measuring employee satisfaction (which is to...
Too many consultants tank their success because they do not clearly understand the difference between consulting vs. leading. Consulting is a defined role that is distinct from leadership. A consultant is one who helps a leader by framing the problems that the leader is accountable for solving. Consultants frame the challenges and help provide a roadmap for resolution of challenges. Leaders oversee the implementation of solutions and ensure sustainability.
The first key of being an effective consultant is learning how to position your expertise in a way that enhances leadership and organizational capacity. When you don't fully appreciate the value you create as a consultant (and how you should be positioned) you inevitable fall into the "pair of hands trap" (where you simply offer and deliver what a client asks of your) or the "surrogate leadership trap" (where you you do the leader's work for them.)
When you know the differences between leading and consulting, you will be...
“Because relationships are mutual, partners share a single fate; no action benefits one and harms the other.” (Lewis, Amini and Lannon)
Have you ever read a book that you know will change your life? I think my understanding of who I am and what I do as a consultant, mother, friend and partner will be forever changed as result of reading the book, “The General Theory of Love” by Thomas Lewis, M.D., Fari Amini, M.D and Richard Lannon, M.D.
This book explains love from a scientific and neurological point of view. Basically our experience of love does not live in the thinking, neocortex part of our brains. It lives in our limbic brain, which holds and stores our emotions, memories and our ingrained responses. Contrary to what we might believe, people don’t change as a result of simply encountering and assimilating information in the thinking part of our brains. Change happens at the limbic level as a result of limbic resonance.
When I was at Disney, we...
Your marketing efforts have paid off. All of your activities on social media and doing speeches worked. You created a proposal, negotiated and renegotiated with your client and the deal is done.
And now you’re wondering what to do now.
Just like your clients have processes in place to ensure consistently high customer service, you have to do the same. This consulting process is what I call the “Consulting Engagement Cycle.” It is not an exact formula you need to follow but a guideline that helps you ensure that you can deliver excellence every time, with every client.
There are five steps in the Consulting Engagement Cycle:
Step 1: Establish Winning Partnerships
Sales is not what you get through in order to get to the work. It is actually the first step in your consulting delivery. During contracting, you and your client come to agreement on the business objectives at hand and how the two of you will partner together to achieve those objectives. This phase of the...
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