Once upon a time in my life, I was an international consultant specializing in the financial services industry.  During one engagement, I was actually working on a project for the largest bank in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  This was my first foray into consulting, and I was a bit apprehensive as I tried to get comfortable in a new industry in a country that is very different than the U.S.  Naturally, I tried to learn as much as I could from the more experienced consultants – how they approached assignments, how they interacted with the client, and the way they wrote up their findings and recommendations.  As it turned out, I had to be very careful about who I modeled.

When I was in grad school, Jim Spady, then the Director of the Fels Center of Government at the University of Pennsylvania, drilled it into our heads that we needed to get to the point in as few words as possible, especially when writing memos or reports.  Although I can be somewhat verbose at times in my blog posts, I really took that to heart and believe that his course made me a much better “technical” writer.  You can imagine, then, my discomfort at overhearing two of my more seasoned colleagues talking about the sheer volume of their deliverable, or write-ups on their portion of the assignment.  They chuckled that they were practicing “consulting by the pound.”  Even though I was the “newbie,” I knew that this was definitely not the right approach to take on a $1 million+ engagement.  I decided that my section of the preliminary report was going to be in my style – short, sweet and to the point.  I even voiced my concern during one of our in-house meetings that we were not providing the type of product that the client wanted.  Predictably, my concerns were taken lightly.  Thankfully, the section of the report for which I was responsible was included as I had written it when the document was delivered to the client.

As you can imagine, the client was none too pleased with what they deemed an “insulting” report.  One of the vice-presidents of the consulting firm took us to the woodshed, as it were, in a closed door meeting.  Do you know how hard it was for me to keep my mouth shut and not say, “I told you guys you were doing it wrong!”  I took one for the team.  As it turned out, however, I didn’t need to speak up at that meeting, because all of my colleagues knew the stance I had taken, and, because my section of the report was quite unlike the rest of it, my employer knew what I had done as well.  Doing the right thing, being professional in my work but also staying part of the team, had certainly paid off.

How about you?  When you are sharing your opportunity, or information on the industry in general, are you providing value to those around you?  Or are you providing “fluff” just for the sake of appearing active and involved?  Ultimately, you will be recognized for bringing quality and providing value to others, whether or not you tell them you are.

– Mark

I love Numis Network.  This is a business that absolutely epitomizes value in the marketplace.  No other company is providing silver and gold assets to its distributors and its customers.  See why some are calling it the Ultimate Money Making business.