Three Old-School Consultant Styles and Their New-School Upgrades
“I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo… against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.” - Johnny Cash.
Successful consultants and leaders wholeheartedly embrace rocking the boat, challenging the status quo and finding the latest technology solutions to remain at the forefront of innovation. Here are a few observations we’ve made about the next generation of rule-breakers:
Staying on Track ➡️ Forging Unique Paths:
“Get good grades in high school, then go to college, then find a good job, and move on up in the company. Finally, retire on a good pension.” Sound familiar? This “track” used to be the ideal among bright students, and one of the most likely paths to leadership. However, today’s most prominent leaders attained their success through changing the game and navigating their careers at their own pace. This could mean switching companies, changing roles or turning a side hustle into a main one. Challenge yourself to use your skill set to the fullest. Often, this will mean venturing beyond tradition and into new horizons.
Chasing Fame ➡️ Attaining Influence:
Before the rise of social media, print and televised media controlled the majority of publicity. If you or your product/organization were not being noticed by these mega-corporations, you probably would not achieve widespread recognition. However, the digital age has seen the fall of print media and the democratization of attaining influence. Instead of fighting for a spot in major publications, today’s leaders should focus on providing value to a dedicated niche audience. Podcasts and blogs are a great place to start broadcasting your insight. Then, promote the content on social media.
Stacking Degrees ➡️ Embracing Experience:
Ask any parent in the 1980s how they advised their child to be successful, and many would likely reply “Go to college.” And they had fair reason to give this ingrained advice: a college education was cheap (relative to today’s standards) and would likely lead directly to a good job. However, today’s workforce faces a different climate and set of options. Tuition has skyrocketed but taking on burdensome loans can seem daunting to a budding leader and may even weigh them down. Contemporary moguls like Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Ellison prove that “real world” experience with applicable skills can be equally valuable to spur innovation and creativity. Traditional education is a great option for some leaders, but perhaps not all.
Successful consultants deliver innovative ideas and digital experiences to help fundamentally change the way their clients operate and how they grow. So, improve your methods by leveraging new digital ways of working, that reduce stakeholder engagement risk, cost of quality and accelerate the sales, deployment and adoption of enterprise apps.