Music superstar Ed Sheeran is going to make you money. Well, indirectly. Okay, he’s not actually going to make you money, but there’s a connection between Red Ed and your consulting firm’s fortunes.
Channel your inner Ed Sheeran: hum catchy tunes, look soulful, and grow something scruffy. Or, failing those, focus on an Ed Sheeran song title:
Thinking Out Loud.
Regular doses of Thinking Out Loud will deliver myriad benefits to your consulting firm. You see, ideally your consulting firm wins clients and creates value while you, as a firm leader, do close to nothing. Oh, you chat with people, cash checks and jaunt off to exotic locations, of course. Your goal is to have fun while your consulting practice chugs along.
That sunny situation depends on your consulting firm utilizing other folks who can do what you do now, just as well as you do it.
And the way you enable others to replicate your smartness is by capturing what you do and, more importantly how and why you do what you do. In other words, by…
Thinking Out Loud.
When you work your personal magic at your consulting firm or on a consulting project, the number of assumptions, strategies, and checklists that you mentally whip through is astounding. You don’t even know you’re doing it.
Transfer that magic. Once each week, pick a single task and, for a couple of hours, sing Ed Sheeran songs Think Out Loud with an assistant or colleague.
Each time you take an action, make a recommendation, dismiss information as irrelevant, or decide to turn left vs. right, articulate explicitly what you’re doing and why.
How did you know one slide in your presentation was okay, whereas another needed to be tweaked? Why did you recommend that your consulting client hire two people instead of three? What questions did you consider, then skip during your Context Discussion?
Will Thinking Out Loud slow you down and add time to your task? Yes. Your drumbeat will ease to a slow ballad. Particularly if your consulting colleague bombards you with “Why?” questions, which is exactly what he should do.
On the other hand, you’ll learn about your own consulting process, revealing opportunities to improve it.
More importantly, you’ll position yourself to hand off the task your consulting colleague heard you Think Out Loud about. Once you (or your assistant) codify your thoughts, you’re on your way to delegating 90% of the occasions that task would otherwise eat up your time. Time better spent learning to write song lyrics.
Bonus approach for high-performers: elevate your consulting skills, by listening to a colleague Think Out Loud.
I regularly create opportunities to hear others Think Out Loud. This morning, a brilliant colleague walked through one of his analytical processes out loud and, as a result, my entire team will enjoy a huge uptick in our ability to create value for clients.
What’s one task you could Think Out Loud about?
Text and images are © 2022 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.