It’s been just over a year since I moved from a full time job to be a business consultant. I have the opportunity to be working in several places,with different teams, including my final full time place of work.
Initially I thought the transition would be easy. In-fact for first six months, I enjoyed the freedom of having the time to think more and the opportunity to work with different teams. It was exciting.
In the next 6 months, it got tougher. It’s not that work has been too challenging. It is the change of position. From a position of power and authority, to a position of not having power and authority. From a position of leading to a position of influencing, not knowing if the changes I think needed, might take place. Without a warning, sometimes emotions can wreck me. For example, I can see a change is needed immediately, and I am thinking why others cannot see it. Yet after sometime I realise my job is not to effect change when I want to. Speed is not a sustainable success factor for me now.
My job is to create the space for teams to realise a specific change is needed or to articulate a need with clarity for all. (and sometimes with in that space, I realise, may be that change or the need, is not what we thought it would be)
I read many books, took online courses, discussed with many mentors, but this insight from my experience, is so important for my happiness and teams around me.
We have different perceptions about the term ‘consultant’.
‘expensive people who have quick answers to problems of others’
‘experts who can talk, only talk,not having to sweat the new changes they bring in’.
I am not surprised, because most of us had bad experiences with consultants. In my transition, in order for my work to be successful, to create that space, I have to wear different hats: Sometimes I am a moderator, sometimes I am a coach, sometimes I am a counsellor. There are times I am a nobody. I just be there. Not trying to fix anything. Yet, fully aware of the issues, trying to see a different angle, from the people around me.