The Leadership Playbook: What a Consultant Can’t Do For You

Even though a consultant can give you advice, show you where the pitfalls lie and help you see the trade-offs in the choices available to you, ultimately, you have to make a decision. Just because you paid someone for their advice in no way obliges you to take it, and following that advice just because you paid for it is a poor decision.

The person who you trust as an advisor may provide you with the lenses through which to see new possibilities, but you are responsible for the vision. If you are not on fire for something different, for something better, for something bigger, bolder, and more meaningful, no one else is going to catch fire.

A consultant cannot lead on your behalf. Even if they provide you with the ideas you need, you have to lead the execution of those ideas. Your team doesn’t work for the person that provides you counsel; you are responsible for leading them. If you aren’t willing to lead the change you want, you won’t have that change.

A consultant cannot hold your people accountable for anything for which you are not willing to hold them accountable. If you are not willing to ensure that something is done, it won’t be done. Real change comes from the will to break from the past and insist on a certain future. You have to hold people accountable for new beliefs, new behaviors, and new outcomes.

A consultant can provide you with new ideas, new possibilities, new strategies, new tactics, and the new beliefs you need to produce better results. The work to produce those results, from deciding to executing to making adjustments to producing new results belongs to you as a leader.

Ultimately, you are responsible for the future you are building.

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