Thursday, November 18, 2010

Time to Give a Few Thanks

After 25 years in the consulting business, I'd like to take a few minutes as Thanksgiving approaches to thank some colleagues -- past, present, and perhaps future -- for some important things I have gained from my work experiences from them. I'm sure that I am neglecting some who are deserving, but after all this time, I can't remember everything.

Those who know well may be surprised by some of these, but then again, they may not.

And, before I go any further, let me re-iterate that this is for people I have worked with; if I were to include others, I would have to start with my family.

  • Thanks to Jim Donofrio, a colleague for many years and a friend, who taught me that it's not always good enough to answer the questions that the client is asking, but to always be sure to answer the questions they should be asking.
  • Thanks to Steve Harrold for teaching me that the client is always right, but that any business decisions have to focus on BOTH sides. In other words, they need to be geared toward serving the client and toward promoting and ensuring profitability.
  • Thanks to Jim Durfee for teaching me how to think about technical issues and how to communicate them. Jim was a master at his craft and I hope that he is enjoying the rocking chair that he said he was retiring to.
  • Thanks to Brian Dunn and Rich Sternhell for instructing me in "Basic Consulting Skills" back in 1988 or 1989. Hardly a work day goes by that I don't use something that I learned in that class.
  • Thanks to Tom Terry and to Don Segal for teaching me how important it is to support our wonderful profession.
  • Thanks to Steve Gould for teaching me the value of continuing to learn about everything I could that can ever help me in consulting (the same would go for life, but Steve didn't teach me that).
Funny thing is, I would bet that if any of these people were to read this, they'd be surprised to learn what they are being thanked for. And, again, I know there are people that I have left off. Hopefully, the next time that I give professional thanks in writing, I will remember them as well.

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