life as a consultant

Extreme Determination and Extreme Success

Growing up, I watched Michael Jordan play basketball. He was, with little argument, the best basketball player of all time. He was incredibly dominant — probably 5-6 standard deviations above the mean. Michael Jordan was in the news a lot when he turned 50 years old. There was an in-depth profile of his life and [...]

How to Get Promoted in Consulting Firms

There are three key secrets to getting promoted in a consulting firm. Here is one of them: “Do what is needed, not just what is asked.” In your first few weeks and months in consulting, you will typically be assigned tasks. This is just temporary to make sure those who interviewed you did not make [...]

How to Build a Strong Client Relationship

In an ideal world, executives would hire consultants to help their companies maximize their opportunities. However, we don’t live in an ideal world — we live in the real world. And one of the reasons consultants get hired is so the client can avoid getting fired. You might be wondering how this relates to you. [...]

Your Reputation is Everything as a Consultant

In consulting, your personal reputation is everything. It is the one thing by which everything else in your career revolves around. Here is the thing with reputations. Once your reputation is set (whether it is good or it is bad), it is very hard to change. If you are seen favorably, more partners want you [...]

Getting Clients to Implement Your Recommendations

Presenting recommendations to clients in a way that increases the odds that they will actually follow your recommendations is a very advanced skill in consulting. It has nothing to do with the logic of your analysis and everything to do with understanding people. If you want to be influential and effective, you will want to [...]

Being Influential Through Word Choice

Over the last 5 years, I have taken an unusual interest in linguistics. My interest was prompted by the book Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What They Hear, by Frank Lunz. Lunz is a political pollster. His job is to take a politician’s idea and test it through market research to find the best way to [...]

Competitive Advantage in Consulting and in Life

One of the concepts taught in business schools around the world is the concept of competitive advantage. While the term is well known, I find very few people actually grasp the implications of this extremely important concept. It applies not only to how you serve clients as a consultant but also how you manage your own career. My thoughts [...]

How to Keep Your Job as a Consultant

It is very difficult to get a job in consulting.  It takes a tremendous amount of time, effort and dedication — and ultimately only a few succeed. It stands to reason that putting some thought into keeping the job you just got would be the prudent thing to do. Fortunately, it is actually far easier to do [...]

Authority, Power & Influence as a New Consultant

In all corporate environments, you need to pay attention to who and what has power. This is a human dynamic that is rarely discussed out loud but is always present in any corporate environment. It is something you must pay attention to as a new consultant. Let me give you some examples. Authority = Who [...]

BCG Lateral Hire

Question: I recently completed six interviews with BCG and am about to receive my offer to join them as a Project Lead. I found your case study videos very useful, as is the one-page framework handout, to prepare me for the interviews. I was quite nervous at first, as this is the first time in [...]

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