life as a consultant

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 [...]

Entering Consulting as a Seasoned Executive

Question: I stumbled upon your site via a local headhunter’s interview brief – fascinating trove of information in a world that I’ve touched but not lived in – a.k.a. management consulting.  On the other hand, I’ve been a general manager/head of operations for some highly specialized technology companies.   So this smallish consulting firm is [...]

McKinsey Reputation Management

If you’ve been following the news, Rajat Gupta, the former managing partner of McKinsey, has turned himself in, in response to allegations of insider trading. What a black eye for the reputation of the firm. I’m sure there are a few hundred McKinsey partners who are absolutely livid about this. It’s one thing to say [...]

Life, Death, and Consulting...

If you have been following the news, the death of Steve Jobs has been everywhere. Steve Jobs had an unusually big impact of my life and my parents’ lives. You see my parents started one of the very first Apple dealers in my hometown of San Diego, California. In 1977, Jobs co-invented the first mass [...]

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 [...]

McKinsey Careers

If you pursue one of the many McKinsey careers available to both beginning and experienced consultants, you will become part of one of the oldest firms in the field.  McKinsey was established some 80 years ago, all the way back in that golden age of American business, the “Roaring Twenties.”  Many in fact credit the [...]

How Consultants Can Really Help Their Clients

A while ago, one of the major news stories in the U.S. was about how an air traffic controller fell asleep on the job — forcing the pilot to land a plane without help from the control tower (very dangerous). It is the third time this has happened.  If this happened in a corporation, it [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]

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 as a new consultant you must pay attention to. Let me give you some examples. Authority = Who [...]

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