Leading Teams in Consulting
The definition of a great leader varies little across industries. Among other things, a great leader shows compassion for their teammates and adapts to changing situations. They communicate persuasively, guide others to reach their full potential, and act proactively when needed. Great leaders are self-aware, and constantly strive for improvement. Arc Aspicio’s philosophy is to build exceptional, flexible leaders and teams that deliver high quality results for both our clients and our company.
For qualities of great leaders, I recommend a checklist of proven leadership principles written by Wharton professor, Michael Useem. I adapted this checklist to meet the unique aspects of leading consulting teams.
- Articulate a Vision. Formulate a clear and persuasive vision and communicate it to the team
- Think and Act Strategically. Set forth a strategy for achieving that vision both short- and long- term; reinforce it with communication and action
- Honor the Room. Frequently express your confidence and support for those who work with and for you
- Take Charge. Take action and responsibility even if it is not formally delegated; be proactive to achieve results
- Act Decisively. Make good and timely decisions, then verify they are executed
- Communicate Persuasively. Convey messages in ways that people will not forget; simplicity and clarity help
- Build a Diverse Team. Leadership is a team sport best played with an able roster of those collectively capable
- Motivate the Team. Appreciate the distinctive intentions each person brings; build on those and draw from their strengths
- Delegate. Delegate authority except for strategic decisions, and stay close and engaged
- Build Trust. Build enduring ties to team members and trust with those who look to you
- Know Your People. Help everybody appreciate the impact that the strategy can have on their own work and future
- Convey your Character. Through gesture, commentary, and accounts, ensure that others appreciate that you are person of integrity
- Place Common Interest First. In setting strategy, communicating vision, and reaching decisions, common purpose comes first, personal self-interest comes last
Keeping these principles in mind, Arc Aspicio grows leaders who truly care about their mission, clients, teams, and people. Leaders can create the next generation of leaders through teaching, coaching, mentorship, and clear communication on performance expectations.
For those of you leading consultants… recognize their accomplishments often. Give them feedback when they need it (which they will). Most importantly, let people learn and grow. They will make mistakes, but that is part of the leadership journey.