I currently have 8 HR professionals working for me. I’ve been working with HR pros since 2001. There’s a big difference with consulting (which is what we do) and being on staff. When you work as an HR pro for a company, you can say ‘no, you can’t do that’. Not so, when you’re a consultant.
So, after 18 years of working with HR consultants and with a nod to Jerry Perenchio, here are my Rules of the Road:
- Take 100% responsibility for your actions.
- Be relentless about your intellectual curiosity. Nothing makes you obsolete faster than refusing to learn new things.
- It’s all about results. I’m not interested in “how”; I’m interested in “if”.
- Never say “no”. Your job isn’t to tell someone they can’t do it, but how they can do it.
- Sometimes the answer may actually be “no”, but don’t you think it is about being sure that you understand the outcome the client wants to reach?
- Being late to a client meeting is unforgivable. Exception: calling the client and letting them know you’re running late.
- You’re the Option King or Queen. If a client has a challenge, your role is to present options and the risks therein. There’s rarely just one way to solve a challenge.
- Mistakes are never a problem. That’s learning. Making the same mistake twice is a problem.
- Never ignore an e-mail or voice mail. Even if your response is “let me get back to you tomorrow”. Clients don’t like to be left hanging. (Neither do I!)
- Have fun and project enthusiasm. No one wants to deal with a downer.
- Minimize drama. We’ll all live longer.
- Care as much about your client as your client does. (You can’t care about a client’s business more than your client cares about their business).