What a marvelous career this is, management consulting. Crazy, yes, but the moments of progress and insight form spectacular, complex, colorful pictures when you take a step back and relax your eyes a little—like you do when admiring a Seurat or those trippy dolphin posters that hung in every dorm room in 1994. What other industry could have come up with adorable, insider lingo like execution plan, pain points, and “cradle to grave” solutions?
Who else wouldn’t think it’s at all strange to duck out between turkey and pumpkin pie to review a past performance volume or rank a colleague’s personal performance during a seriously silly 360? What other calling would advocate for as much organizational self-reflection and best practice sharing and do so little on and for itself? None, of course.
Most Mondays, we easily lose sight of this as the pace of the week quickens by 10am and the familiar rush that propels us from one meeting to the next starts again. What an odd little cottage industry this is. When our work is done and all of the deliverables are shelved, historians will look back and ask, “huh, what the fuck was all that about?” Of course, we’ll know because it’ll be thoroughly documented in our project plans, meeting minutes, and ancient Sharepoint sites.
This has to be one of the best jobs. That other smart, professional people open up, reach out, and seek your help in the form of guidance, perspective, or just elbow grease to get something done… and they’re willing to pay... is an honor.