As a consultant, my name is impacted by the leaders with whom I work. That’s because as a consultant I have no power to act. I do have influence based on my knowledge and skills, and the point of hiring someone like me, who is outside of the organization, is to get an external perspective or guidance on a situation. That said, it is up to the leader to decide what to do with any of the advice I provide.
As a result, I want to work with a leader that:
- Has good intentions – that is, wants to make his/her organization or team better, not just improve his or her own position.
- Is open to being influenced – not just by me, but by others who may have been trying to communicate concerns but have not been able to be heard
- Is willing to examine his/her own behavior and is willing to change if that would help the situation – i.e. he/she does not stubbornly insist that it is others that have to change
- Is willing to take the time to do something right – not assume that a single meeting/retreat will produce change
- Will commit the time and energy to communicate and execute well on any plans that are developed.
This would be a leader that I could trust — trust to do what is right by his/her people and the organization, make the tough decisions, be professional, and own the process. This is the leader that will succeed. And that is the kind of leader with whom I want my name attached.
So, pardon me if I ask a lot of questions upfront. Because I want to make sure that YOU are the leader that I want to support!
Catherine M. (Cathy) Perme is a partner at Perme & Peterson Associates, LLC.