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  • Matt

Area Man Becomes Consultant, Explains Self

Updated: Aug 22, 2019

Consultants can be a pain. They create so many meetings. They have a steep learning curve but think they’re experts. They don’t GET how things work around here. They slow down projects with their packed schedules. And expensive! The term “carpet bagger” comes to mind.

That’s how I felt sometimes as an organizational leader…and now I’m a consultant! Yowza.

The thing is, I also enjoyed working with many consultants. A good one could be a confidant, provocateur, truth-teller, and honest-broker among competing interests. They provided a fresh perspective, introducing me to ideas, approaches and people I wouldn’t otherwise connect with. It was a relief to unload some work on them so I wasn’t constantly on my heels…and frankly, they could do some things I couldn’t do. Since they weren’t knotted up in my organization’s “stuff”, they had intriguing perspectives about how to untangle the knots. Without a doubt, the biggest organizational changes I’ve experienced were co-created and facilitated by outside consultants.

A few consultants became important mentors in my career, introducing me to cornerstone concepts in my practice like Living Systems (thank you, Kathy Allen!) and ToP facilitation methods (thank you, Linda Alton!). They gave me advice and modelled an appealing way of life that was plucky, entrepreneurial, constructive, and insightful (thank you, Deb Burnight, Ester Mae Cox, Cheryl Kartes, Ann Epps, Mari Lane Gewecke, John Beranek, Kayla Schnuelle, Sara McGarraugh, Kate Noble, Sonia Cairns, Marc Osten, and many others)!

That’s what I want to offer as a consultant: a thought-provoking outside perspective with useful tools that help get things done, generate new insights, and focus on what matters.

I’ve had the good fortune to wear many hats in my career. As a consultant, I deploy methods I’ve used (and custom-build new ones) to help leaders who find themselves in no-equation-for-this situations like I did, including: director, strategist, network builder, team builder, program designer, philanthropic troubadour, scaler, crisis navigator, exit-finder, confidant, facilitator, collaboration convener, communications tactician, social media dodger, policy analyst, big-thinker, small fish, existential-purpose-sounding board, community fosterer, and residential chicken advocate.

Now I create unique space for connection, insight, and elegant actions that build momentum and create flow. I believe in being of good use and using work to grow toward our best selves. As an added bonus, I work with purposeful fun…because no one likes a grim do-gooder! If you or anyone you know is in need of such devices, please track me down.

As an homage to John O'Donohue's Blessing from Anam Cara, I offer this closing:

May we help one another know our highest aspirations and deepest understanding during the time we share on the Blue Dot.


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