A recruitment consultant or career counsellor should be capable of answering the above question adequately. However, the world of management consulting would appear to be shrouded in mystery amongst many outsiders. Many experienced professionals would naturally aspire to practise as a consultant, but would they have the essential traits to succeed? And what type of experiences should they expect?
Having worked as a business/management consultant in the UK for over 20 years, I thought that it is time to share my hard earned experiences, in case...I'm run over by the proverbial bus!
Hence, I have recently published a thought provoking and controversial book: What Clients Don't Tell Management Consultants in Consulting
- What consultants should do/What clients should know
[/i]. Its ISBN is 978-07552-0438-0
The following is an extract from my book, partly answering the question posed: Key personality traits
"First, it is the issue of having the right combination of relevant
personality traits. As I have alluded to before, intelligent
persistence is certainly essential to ensure success in
obtaining work. This must be the true test of success. I have
come across many fellow consultants who have lacked the
mental stamina and emotional resilience to succeed. In
reality, this means persisting till the practical end with a
targeted prospect even though the immediate prospect of any
work forthcoming might appear almost zero.
People do change their minds; it is a matter of timing and being
convinced. Indeed, it is a trait which has been used and
aimed at myself by a few of my ‘hunters’! I do have real life
examples where someone else in my shoes could have
easily given up on a prospect but I have persisted.
Sometimes, I have been rewarded eventually, after investing
several years’ efforts. As time goes on, you can become
wiser as to when you should give up the chase and call it a
As explained, persistence is essential but you have to be
realistic too and be slightly sensitive to the circumstances. It
might be the case of ‘throwing in the towel’ after a certain
point. There have been many occasions when I have felt that,
if the truth be known, I have invested enough time, energy
and pennies in my efforts to convince certain prospects of my
worth. There are reasons, whether justified or not, for not
eliciting a positive response.
Some reasons have been mentioned earlier on. I think that some of the main ones are:
• Resistance, reluctance or inability to accept outside help
• Your competitors have already established a strong psychological foothold
• There is no strong perceived need for any help and/or desire/ability to pay for it
• Your expertise etc. are not what is apparently sought
• There may be something ‘unacceptable’ about you or your company.
Hence persistence should be moderated with a modicum of
Here are some of the reviews:
"Y. Kwan Loo succeeds in mapping the intricacies of client-consultant relationships. He offers shrewd observations on client motivation." by Morgen Witzel (Financial World)
‘At last, a practical eye opening useful book for both consultants and their clients from a real results driven consultant. Read it!’
Peter Rawson, Managing Director – ARRK Product Development Group Limited
‘Essential reading for Consultants, Clients and business travellers – enjoy Kwan's no nonsense approach to his many years of wide ranging experience
Philip D Garnar, Director – The Lamberhurst Corporation
‘Kwan Loo has provided a practical guide for consultants and the businesses that might use them. It contains nuggets of truth to keep both happy. An honest account with a human face, the life examples given will resonate with business managers, their employees and the brave agents of change trying to help them. It is essential reading for those with an open mind.'
Darren Kelly, Managing Director – Drucegrove Limited
‘The increasing number of independent consultants in many areas of professional services means that understanding how to be successful, and whether you want to be one, has ever greater importance. This book attempts to answer these core questions in detail, and I wish it success.’
Andrew Smith, Chairman – Independent Consultants Group, UK
Priced at only £9.99, it is packed full of invaluable insights, advice for both consultants (budding & experienced) and clients. It is available via most bookshops worldwide and from internet sources, e.g. Amazon. My web bookpage is http://www.k-lassociates.com/book.htm
for more details. Happy reading!
Y Kwan Loo
BSc(Eng) MBA CEng MIMechE MIET MCIM MCMI FRSA