There really is nothing new under the sun these days. Leadership consultants, coaches, gurus, whatever it is we’re calling ourselves these days, are multiplying like rabbits in winter. You know our type: confident, visionary, able to inspire and motivate the workers of the world to new heights of achievement! Single-handedly able to create companies out of clay, to mold titans of industry out of every middle manager we meet, to fashion the next Jobs, Musk or Zuckerberg out of every 25-year-old with an idea. And, without exception, each of us, selling you our REVOLUTIONARY COURSE FOR ONLY $197 or MEMBERSHIP INTO OUR EXCLUSIVE MASTERMIND FOR ONLY $37/MONTH.
It’s time we face reality, and stop pretending. The world doesn’t need yet another voice proclaiming the benefits of MY SIMPLE 5 STEP PROCESS TO DEVELOP A MILLIONAIRE MINDSET. It’s time we sat ourselves down and asked ourselves the hard question: Why should anybody want to work with me? What can I create that no one else can?
Being a consultant, or coach is a creative job. And no, I don’t mean creating courses, or blog posts, or funnels. What we (are supposed to) create is a new solution to an old, old problem. A new perspective to an old, old viewpoint. What we are supposed to do is create a path for others to follow. Our task is to synthesize a wealth of information, transform it into value particularized to our clients, and apply it to their problem. Our job is to be the repository of every technique, tip, best practice, and theory we can lay our hands on, and then know how to combine those pieces in a way that is most effective in the service of others.
Awhile ago, I wrote a couple of posts on Metacognition (here, and here). This skill of understanding the way I construct thought processes, is what should set me apart as a consultant. I firmly believe there is as much to be gained from studying Marcus Aurelius as there is from studying Jim Rohn. The problem that I see in the leadership consultant marketplace today is a lack of synthesis. Regurgitating somebody else’s viewpoint and putting your own logo on it is not synthesis. To synthesize knowledge requires some cognitive regulation, the ability to focus our mental frameworks on achieving a goal. To synthesize knowledge (used to be) our bread and butter as consultants. We used to study, rigorously and intensely, our subject matter until we could not only quote it chapter and verse, but break it down, separate it into component ideas and reassemble it in new ways.
What’s stifling the leadership consulting industry is a fundamental lack of creativity. What’s needed is a new era of creative thinking and synthesizing of information. The world is literally at our fingertips, the information of a thousand years of leadership thought is just a mouse click away, and yet we don’t take time to reflect, to think critically and creatively, to develop and implement solutions. Maybe, in that marketplace, the reason there’s a new “guru” popping up every week is because so few of us have anything truly original to say.