There are many out there who would be categorized as a consultant. They are brought in to look at certain situations in a business, to present their findings and offer solutions. They may even be part of the implementation and follow up.
The biggest asset that a consultant has is that they are not tied into the day-to-day emotions of the company or the day-to-day drama. They do not know individuals’ quirks or reasons why they are allowed to stray from process. What they also possess is clear vision so they can ask the questions that many do not think to ask because they have been so focused on just getting through the day that they did not even see the issue.
I think that more leaders should take this approach at times. What would it do for your company if you looked at how you run your business through the eyes of a consultant? Many times when there are challenges in the companies or departments I have run, I stop for a moment and ask myself the following question:
“If I was hired to come in and help this company/department and today was my first day, what would I do?”
Think about it. Would you look at things differently? Would you ask certain questions? What would you check?
I could take most leaders and bring them to another company and they would most likely ask some of the following questions:
- What are your goals?
- What are your processes?
- What training is done?
- Is training documented?
- How are people held accountable?
- How is performance measured?
- What are the expenses?
- What is revenue?
- Where could we make adjustments?
And the list would go on and on.
Do you as leader take time throughout the year to check on all of these? Or do you fall into a pattern of assuming that things are still being done the correct way?
This inspection takes emotion out of the analysis. If you were coming in for the first time you would only be looking at performance, training and then asking questions about why someone did not meet standards. You would have no reason to blame or judge.
Some answers you may receive could be the same that consultants’ receive like, “Well they have been here awhile,” or “Well Bob always does it his own way,” or, “If we push too hard he may quit and he is a good employee/salesperson/manager.” Each of these responses is deadly to the business as a whole because it is allowing excuses to rule versus process and accountability.
Allowing people too much freedom allows negativity and distraction amongst the group.
I know some businesses allow top salespeople certain leeway and if someone does not like it, the answer is to sell more and you can receive that benefit too. This works ONLY if the metrics are stated clearly and it applies to everyone. So if someone falls out of that group and they lose the privilege, then it can work.
Having a consultant’s eye to run your own business stops your brain from staying on a poor course. You may not like what you see because your lack of inspection has caused some of the issues, but those things can be fixed.
You are better off training yourself as a consultant and fixing your problems before the business is affected in a negative way.
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