How to Take Risks as a Consultant and Maintain a Steady Consulting Job

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Consultants, learn how to take risks that won't jeopardize your career. ''How?'' you might ask. With help from two consulting professionals who will teach you how to take responsible risks that will help boost your consulting career.

According to Fred Gluck, managing director at managing consulting firm McKinsey & Co., “The more I've thought about it over the years, the more I've concluded that what really leads to outstanding consultants…is the willingness to really take risks.”

Scott Greenberg, a 10-year leadership consultant veteran agrees with Gluck. Taking risks, after all, is something Greenberg does often — and with great results.

With some help from these experts, you can confidently take risks as a consultant that will help boost your consulting career. By not over-thinking your risks, not allowing your image to drive your risk decisions, and not being afraid to fail, you’ll start to see some of your own great results. After all, if you never jump, how will you know how high you can go?

Consultants: Over-Thinking Risks Will Only Deter You from Moving Forward

According to an article written by Greenberg himself, consultants shouldn’t over-think their risk- taking decisions. If you’ve thought about taking a risk, do it. “The easiest way to get into a cold swimming pool is to jump right in,” says Greenberg. But along with just taking a risk, consultants need to take a big risk. “Fully commit yourself,” affirms Greenberg.

Consultants: Don’t Let Your Image Hinder Your Risk Decisions

If all you’re worried about is your image, then you’ll never take the risk. Greenberg says to focus more on what you want and less on how you’ll look. Also, don’t be concerned with what others will think of you. Yes, some may find you irresponsible or even crazy! But only you know all the details. If you let others decide for you, you may never be ready to take a risk. Greenberg says, “Ask yourself what you really have to lose. Most of the time it’s about ego and less about any real loss.”

Consultants: Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

Gluck says, “Take risks with your thinking [and] take risks in how far you're trying to push the client…I had a conversation with a colleague recently who was learning how to ski, and he said that, in the course of his ski week, he concluded that if you weren't falling, you weren't learning. And I think that's, you know, a general rule of life. You've got to take risks and be willing to fail.”


So it comes down to this: when you’re thinking about taking a risk, do it! Greenberg and Gluck, both experienced consultants, encourage other consultants to take a deep breath, trust their instincts, and jump right in.
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