Business Schools

A Consultant with a Purpose


I'm a partner in a small, Michigan-based strategic management and leadership consultancy, Morningstar Consulting. Our firm consists of three partners, Joe (in Michigan), John (in Florida), and myself. (I swear I'm not making these names up!) Because we're small, we tend to focus on one or two clients at a time, and because we're in the Detroit area, a great deal of our work has been in the automotive industry.

John and I report to Joe, the managing director. We typically resolve any issues by consensus, but Joe is the ultimate decision maker. Various resources report to me, depending on the situation. In some engagements, I'll manage Morningstar resources. In others, I'll manage client resources. Often, I'll manage both. Additionally, I manage most of the outsourced resources that we use to perform tasks such as Web and marketing-content design and creation.

TYPICAL WORK DAY:

7:45 a.m. -- I don't have to be at a client site today, so my commute consists of the 20 steps or so it takes to walk to my home office. My first task is a simultaneous e-mail/voice mail/calendar check.

8:00 a.m. -- Voice mail and e-mail are done for now, and my Outlook calendar matches the one in my head. I hunker down to work on the presentation my partner and I will use to facilitate a client workshop tomorrow.

9:55 a.m. -- My first phone call is at 10 a.m. with my mentor, a former philosophy professor turned business consultant. I take a look at the prep notes I've made for the call. Discussion topics: anxiety about the economy, a recent client meeting that I could have handled a little better, and [Albert] Camus' The Plague, which I just finished reading.

10:30 a.m. -- Time for my second call, which is a conference with Joe and John. We're discussing a couple of workshops we're developing for our Business Philosophy practice. I pop open a Word document to take notes since I try to be as paperless as I possibly can, and I often can't read my own writing.

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