I was inspired by an article I read recently about recruitment. This post is predominantly a take on that. It is not surprising that how this content can be applied to virtually any service industry.
Here’s is how you could become a Great IT Consultant. The same Traits I encourage you to develop, apply to many service industries.
The 7 Traits of The Great IT Consultant
I’ve worked with many Consultants in my IT consulting career.
During the last 20+ years, I’ve met some of the best and most inspirational IT consultants and had the privilege of working with them in many exciting, ground breaking and challenging projects.
I’ve also seen some duds too. Consultants, who can tell a good story but have no real skills to back it up on the battlefield.
From these encounters, I can tell you that there are 7 traits that distinguish the best IT Consultants from the rest.
1) The Great IT Consultant is a Giver
The Great IT Consultants openly share their knowledge and experiences. They willingly give advice. They dont hold on to secrets to keep them employed.
They are not afraid of the competition or any perceived threats. They truly believe in empowering others to be great at their jobs and lives.
2) The Great IT Consultant delivers outcomes daily
To put it bluntly, great consultants don’t muck around. They don’t complain. They dont bullshit. They simply deliver daily.
Great Consultants don’t burn bridges. They don’t think short term – they are able to win repeat business from the people they want to work with.
By delivering quality outcomes they not only generate repeat business but they also generate quality referrals.
3) The Great IT Consultant develops specialised skill sets
Generalist IT consulting was dead and buried.
Great consultants are subject matter experts. They specialise in niche areas like K2.
They know their market intimately and understand its intricacies. Needless to say, they have developed strong networks in their space.
They can advise their clients on technology trends. They know the latest industry developments. They know the right people and can reach out accordingly.
They constantly train and form the habit of continually researching their industry to identify these trends and developments.
4) The Great IT Consultant has built up Resilience
IT consulting is one of the toughest jobs you can do.
It is very demanding. When you are a Consultant, You are actually an analyst, coder, tester, presales engineer, PM, support guy and the Infrastructure guy. You have to work hard and be smart.
I have had way too many late nights and missed family dinners thanks to my work. I love it so much I have no regrets.
Clients and users make you work very hard for your money and won’t necessarily appreciate your work. You are the first to get blamed for anything that goes south.
If you look for validation from others then you are not a great Consultant yet.
The successful consultants are able to bounce back quickly from adversity.
5) The Great IT Consultant actively builds lasting relationships
Consulting is a game of people. You have to be able to work with all sorts of people.
So you need to be able to build relationships with a variety of people. These relationships are to be built both internally and externally.
Externally, you are able to recognise and then focus on building extremely strong relationships with the Clients by helping them achieve outcomes.
Consultants live and die by their word.
The Great Consultants also don’t waste time working with people and companies that don’t deliver on what they promise.
Internally, they have the habit of working with colleagues and managers to build mutually beneficial relationships that deliver results.
6) The Great IT Consultant has abundance of energy and enthusiasm
No one likes being around lazy or negative people.
If you are a consultant having unlimited energy and enthusiasm is a must. They exercise and keep fit. They read good books and keep great company.
If they are sick they take the day off. They don’t come to work unless they are a00%. It is also not wise to infect your coworkers.
People want to work with people they like. Positivity and enthusiasm are contagious. So is negativity. The Great IT Consultants never gossip.
Successful consultants have the habit of applying energy and enthusiasm consistently to all their daily activities.
7) The Great IT Consultant knows the power of Leverage
The Great IT Consultants know that they don’t know everything or have all the answers.
They are the first to ask for help, say that they don’t know and admit to their mistakes. They also never repeat the same or similar mistakes.
They do this with great care. They reach out to the right people and the right time in the right way.
They also know how to return a favour.
So, If you want to be that Great IT Consultant, develop these traits intentionally.