The Failure/Success Syndromes that Consultants Face by Clients

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Many consultants languish while complaining about being abused by clients, about unpaid fees, rejected proposals, and all the other ills of the profession. Yet, they do little or nothing to analyze the psychological causes of these failures. Rest assured that the causes are psychological - either on the part of the consultant or the client or both. Instead, those consultants who are not realizing their full professional potential usually chalk it all up to "bad luck." Luck is important, but for most consultants, chance circumstances are not the main detriments to success.

The failure syndrome is based on the simple fact that the consultant still fails to accept that he is the cause of his own experience - even though he has left the table of organization to be free of the powerlessness of subordination to someone else's decisions. If you are not succeeding as rapidly as you think you should, you are probably still dealing with the external world - the easy (loser's) way. You are not using your innate courage, daring, self-motivation, and discipline to discover your internal world - the more difficult (winner's) way.

Another reason that most consultants fail is that they thereby find themselves in lots of company. As is mentioned in the book, 'How to Compete Successfully in Your Own Field,' - Since most people fail, and so few succeed, Freud discovered that failure is much more easily accepted than success. In point of fact, psychiatrists' offices are filled with people who have achieved success in their respective fields and can't handle that success emotionally. Failures usually accept their plight easily.

The consultant's success syndrome is pretty much the obverse of the failure syndrome. Successful consultants, the "lucky" ones, never rely on chance alone. Instead, they are self-determined people who analyze every encounter, good or bad. If the encounter went well, they determine which factors made it so, and they "program" them into their methods of operation for the future. If the encounter did not go well, they do the same thing in reverse, "deprogramming" those factors out of their future dealings with their clients and prospects. In all cases, fearless introspection and objectivity lead them to better psychological tactics the next time, and to fascinating lessons learned. Introspection is the key, because it is only the consultant's behavior (your behavior) and reactions that can be changed. You can never change a client!

Put another way, successful consulting requires individual sovereignty and the courageous testing of all your individual human possibilities. It requires the daring of thinking about the unthinkable - in this case, all eventualities your actions may cause and all your emotions actualized from those eventualities.

All of this takes severe mental discipline and concentration-no less than the concentration required of a top-notch successful professional athlete. Only the techniques are different.

No one has ever succeeded in any profession without being able to answer the following questions of himself:
  • Who am I?
  • What am I?
  • Where am I?
  • Where have I come from?
  • Where am I going?
  • Why am I going there?
  • How am I going to get there?
Simple questions; only the answers are difficult. But they are far from impossible and do not require years of psychoanalysis to discover. The answers are already within you, some manifest and some more covert. They are more easily come upon by transcription of the questions to:
  • What kind of a consultant am I?
  • How good am I?
  • Where would I like my consultancy to be five years from now?
  • How can I get there from here?
  • Is my current practice comfortable? If not, why not?

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