If the focus of a consultant is to simply make money, it would be wise to consider a different line of work. At their core, consultants should be inclined to foster relationships with others, because consulting is a personal relationship held between the consultant and the client (McKnight, 2009). When organizational leaders are seeking out a consultant, they are doing so in the midst of a challenge, a difficulty, and sometimes even a crisis. It is imperative consultants understand this reality and approach each consulting opportunity with people in mind, because the client’s situation is a people problem rather than a technical problem (McKnight, 2009). Consultants must deal with the complexities of people issues that are underlining the problems of the client (McKnight, 2009), and this will require their perspective to shift from simply making money.
Clients seek consultants to fix problems, but they are also pursuing mega-results within their product lines, human resources, and bottom lines. Though that may not be on their radar when seeking a consultant, consultants with a cathedral mentality can help them achieve such results. Consultants who hold a cathedral mentality do not see themselves as simply solving a problem (laying bricks), but they see themselves as having a positive impact on the culture and well-being of those involved and those impacted by those involved (Van Tiem & McElyea, 2010). Their focus is not down on the task at hand, but up on the horizon of possibilities. Consultants have a unique capability to equip others to be catalysts for change, and this should the starting point for each client engagement (Van Tiem & McElyea, 2010). This requires a shift though, from models, techniques, and interventions, to saving jobs, impacting local economies, and improving client financial conditions (Van Tiem & McElyea, 2010).
Feiner, M. (2004). The Feiner points of leadership: the fifty basic laws that will make people want to perform better for you (First Warner Books printing). New York: Warner Business Books.
Van Tiem, D., email@example.com, & McElyea, J., 3, firstname.lastname@example.org. (2010). Transitioning from brick layer to cathedral builder: Performance consulting and the power of one. Performance Improvement, 49(3), 17–23. http://doi.org/10.1002/pfi.20133