If you are a Management Consultant, you know the ups and downs in supporting your clients every day. You understand on which points to press, which to concede, and that you are most certainly hired by that client to make not only your assumptions and theories bulletproof, but also to introduce them to concepts and possibilities that are the privilege of the uninvolved (those “fresh eyes”).
How does that change when you are involved (and in my case have been for 26 years) with the clients deepest issues? What if the client already knows how you’ll approach the problems at hand? What happens when that same client knows exactly when you’ll “press” the issue, and when your most likely to accept alternative ideas?
Enter the “client” – my wife of 26 years. Starting for the first time in her life, her very own business. We’ll call it “The Gallery”.
The Gallery is a concept that my wife has put together from some overseas travel experiences we’ve shared, and now it’s becoming a reality. We aren’t even 25% of the way through, but I wanted to share some of the points where my Management Consulting “mettle” has been tested thus far;
Listening – I’ve listened to her for 26 years, but the concepts and ideas of forming a business are so foreign to her it is awakening an attentiveness and focus in our conversations that I’ve missed.
Speaking assertively – I’ve spent a quarter century working as hard as I possibly can to make sure that she has a wonderful life and knows that she is cared for. Guiding her approach to a business and having to at times speak and behave assertively are very foreign territory, but I’m more empowered (at home and at work) each time she trusts one of my assertions.
Being the “Cowboy” – If she could, she would launch this business only after each and every aspect were 1000% (yes 1000%) correct and ready for “prime time”. Exposing her to the different examples of “Pulling the trigger” and then navigating through what your plan has created, keeps me as her “Cowboy”.
Keeping a focus on reality – She looks to similar “Galleries” and wants this and that and for all things to be aligned for opening day (regardless of cost). Holding her to our upper cost limit and ensuring that wants today do not make needs of tomorrow impossible to achieve is a balancing act of note!
All this might sound a bit negative, certainly not my intent. My wife is an incredible thinker, so driven I can barely keep up, and naturally incapable of “can’t”. She’s taught me so much on this adventure so far, I am more excited each day to see what she’ll show me next!
If you’re a Management Consultant and have the opportunity to apply your wares to your partner’s business passion, I highly recommend it.
We will be sure to post further updates, as “The Gallery” gets off the ground!