As a professional consultant, have you ever asked yourself what it is that your client really wants from you? I am sure answers such as value, leadership, action, partner, doer or even advisor have rattled around in your brain. You might even start down the path of saying it depends on what the strategic objectives of the organization are. While all of the above thoughts are probably correct in some form or fashion, is it really the best answer?
Like an onion, peel back the layers of the question and the answers. I believe you would agree that if culture is positively changed due to strong leadership, your client will be happy. If your client is also recognized for the success, I would argue that the client has increased satisfaction. I would think you would also agree that if you help your client deliver a project quicker, faster and better than expected, they will be grateful. If your client also receives a promotion for their work with you, they are most likely even happier. So even though you as a consultant is having success at a larger level, if you also help make your client look like a superstar, you have really nailed it!
Think about it for a second. If you were a client, of course you would want your consultant to be successful. You want the success because it leads to good things for your company. Higher profits, lower costs, stronger employee retention…etc. At the end of the day, we know that if the client gets the kudos for bringing in the consultant that is great. More importantly though, if the client gets a promotion or the full recognition for success, trust me, they will want you to continue working with them. So remember, even though your client may not say it or admit it, if you make them look like a superstar, you have met what they were consciously or subconsciously looking for in a consultant.
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