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What type of personality traits succeed in consulting?

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Honestly, having been in consulting for a 12 years, there are two types of successful people in this job: 1) tenacious go-getters that will raise their hand for everything internal, always work hard and late hours, will sell HARD but not smart and 2) charming people that are supremely affable, are good at communicating and not dumb as rocks. 2 is something you either have or you don’t. 1 is something anyone can do but most that take that route are annoying and hard to work for because they expect everyone to be the same. I should add there are 10-20% that are successful for just being really good at what they do. But those people usually aren’t rainmakers.

likehelpfulsmartfunny

This description is very accurate and also exactly why I’m leaving consulting.

Have always felt that it’s a business that consistently undervalues/underpays people who are really skilled in a specialized area, and overvalues people who sell new work.

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To be successful in consulting, you need sponsorship from a senior individual - who probably also had sponsorship to get there, decent client and partner feedback - which is mostly about being impressive or sociable during interactions, and getting things done - either yourself or through others...or possibly just the ability to bullshit them into believing you got something done.

Personality traits on the other hand is a very different conversation. Any personality type (I'm thinking Myers Briggs, etc) can be successful in consulting if applied appropriately to their traits and preferences - or if they adapt and learn the appropriate behaviours.

Skills is yet another discussion. Consultants need to be able to zoom out our dive down in detail, spot bottlenecks and have the ability to communicate very effectively, problem solve or 'sell' a solution that's worked elsewhere and most definitely lead a team of client or consultant resources effectively (whatever leadership style they may have).

Edit: I will add:
- Ability to work with massive uncertainty
- Be comfortable (and possibly enjoy) constant change

Hope this helps.

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Insecure overachievers

likefunnyhelpfulsmart

Oh good I found the right job then

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Successful bullshitters. BS client, team, and leadership. The trifecta to consulting success. Competency comes second.

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ESTJ.
I’m an INFP so not sure what I was thinking....

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I used to score ESTJ but now lately ESTP. I’m not very natural at being organized in PMO work but do enjoy the relationship building. I should try sales tbh

Sociopathy

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Self-starting, ability to handle ambiguity, and enjoy problem solving with a team.

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I am tired of such comments. Noone is a fool to pay so much money to consulting companies if they were not needed. Maybe you need to start thinking like an exec

likefunnysmarthelpful

If you want to stay long term, you need to be a fantastic sales person. Anything above a director level is all about selling more work

likesmart

E7 - haha which response gave you hope? Just curious since M2 and I had totally different perspectives (both of which can be right depending on the person).

Kiss ups

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I agree that’s the only thing that seems to work

BDE

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Type A

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This one! I’m type b and much more relaxed/less stressed about work. Is that bad?

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Position yourself as an SME even if you’re constantly working in new fields. Just try to learn things at twice the speed.

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Deep domain expertise

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The Dark Triad personality

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Sweet and caring. ❤️

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Subservience , inability or unwillingness to take responsibility for or ownership of change or value creation, an un-relenting love of being mistreated by your superiors, a high tolerance for low impact, a low tolerance for enjoyment, delusions of grandeur, a non-confrontational though vindictive personality, and most of all, a desire to spread this love to the poor and unwitting children who get hired and work under us.

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You know that dude who was always in the frat house 24/7? He wasn’t particularly exceptional in any aspect of his life but very quickly became the P or VP just because he was always around to do things for the frat?

That’s the kind of dude who succeeds in consulting

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Note the grass is NOT greener on the other side. My post is paraphrasing Jack Welch’s explanation for why you see so many dumb people in corporate leadership positions

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Have you ever watched an episode of “Golden Girls”? It was a big show in the 80s and early 90s.

Stream it and watch Betty White’s character. That’s a consultant.

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Functional alcoholic

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Comfortable with ambiguity / making decisions with limited data

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Thick skin

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