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 consultants and had the privilege of working with them in many exciting, ground breaking and challenging projects.
I’ve also seen some duds too. These Consultants 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 attributes that distinguish the best IT Consultants from the rest.
1) The Great IT Consultant is a Pleasant Care 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.
They care about their clients and their wellbeing. They are honest and open. They tell the truth.
2) The Great IT Consultant delivers incredible 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.
They set and communicate realistic expectations and they deliver above and well.
3) The Great IT Consultant develops specialised skill sets
Generalist consulting was dead and buried.
Great consultants are subject matter experts. They specialise in niche areas like RPA. They also understand the business environments and know how to enable and empower people to adopt technology at mass scale.
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 every day. 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. Your confidence comes from conviction.
The great consultants always love a challenge and are able to bounce back quickly from adversity.
5) The Great IT Consultant actively builds meaningful and 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 real results.
6) The Great IT Consultant has abundance of energy and enthusiasm
No one likes being around lazy or negative people. I have seen “walking blackholes” and you should never be around them.
If you are a consultant, having unlimited energy and enthusiasm is a prerequisite.
Great consultants exercise regularly 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 a 100%. It is also not wise to make your clients sick.
People want to work with people they like. Positivity and enthusiasm are contagious. So is negativity. The Great IT Consultants never bad mouth or 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.
That’s it. So, If you want to be that Great Consultant, develop these attributes intentionally.