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).