22 July 2021
In the new era we are all experiencing where every professional must plan for the unexpected, many start-up leaders face unprecedented challenges, yet very few of them are willing to ask for help when they need it. Many entrepreneurs consider themselves to be risk-takers by nature, and obviously, they are expected to know how to deal with anything.
However, with people being a key asset for any organization, no individual professional can claim they know everything about growing and managing teams. There will always be some blind spots and challenges that require additional tools, skills, and methodology to resolve them and therefore it makes sense to seek the counsel of others. But how can you decide which Leadership Consultant will be the right fit for your organization?
Here are seven simple guidelines to follow when selecting one:
The most important quality to consider is character. The right Consultant for your team and business must be an individual of the highest character, and this means that the Consultant will always be willing to put the best interest of the business ahead of their own, or that of any team member.
Additionally, a seasoned Consultant shall be ready to discuss sensitive topics with clients and team, things that they must hear but may not want to. In many cases, Consultants risk losing business by doing so, yet they still do it. The Consultant must always prioritize their client’s business, starting with the ability to understand what these interests are and that often it may go against personal interests.
- A trusted companion
If you are looking for a Consultant who would be successful in helping your team and organization, you need to develop a trust-based relationship. You will need a comfortable space where you can disclose the intimate details of your business. There must be a code of ethics that defines the relationship between Consultant and Client.
Without a complete understanding of the challenges and opportunities, the Consultant will be disadvantaged in his or her effort to help your team and business. Your focus should be on the Consultant with whom you feel comfortable to develop this kind of professional relationship and who possesses the right experience and skills.
- A resilient and flexible mindset
Markets are dynamic and in continuous change, and so do the challenges your teams are facing. As organizations are under constant reshaping, this requires a Consultant with a resilient mindset who can be proactive, yet at the same time accepts the fact that businesses do not know everything that will happen upon signing the consultancy agreement. On many occasions, unexpected market developments require a high level of resilience from Consultants to continue supporting the business through continuous evaluation of recent developments.
The right Consultant can create tremendous value that could either turn around businesses to flourish and stand out or go in a different direction.
- Non-traditional problem-solving skills
The Consultant is expected to be a quick and effective learner and an outstanding problem solver with exceptional analytical skills. The Consultant’s ability to find creative solutions is second to none. Your team will highly benefit by learning creative problem-solving skills.
- Excellent communication skills
A good Consultant is an active listener and should possess powerful communication skills. His or her role is 70% active listening and 30% mentoring and advising.
- Solid, diverse experience
The right profile of a consultant has experience with the challenges or opportunities you and your company face and has resolved similar ones in diverse contexts. The Consultant may not know your specific sector or industry, but you and your team are supposed to know it quite well. The utmost value contributed by him or her is a multidimensional vision based on experience in addressing the types of issues you face.
- Guides you to make your own decisions
The right Business Consultant is not a professional hired to make decisions for your organization. His or her primary duty is to empower you with an in-depth professional exploration of the viable options so you can make your own decisions.
Following these seven guidelines will help ensure that you engage the right firm or individual for your organization.
About the Author:
Yasser Seoud is a Canadian multilingual executive who has been a Director and VP for diverse organisations in multiple geographical locations. With a global executive background, he was a decision maker for international organisations where he lived and worked in Johannesburg, Cairo, Madrid, London UK and Toronto.