Can consultancy lead to leadership?

The key challenge that I envisage in transformation of a consultant into a senior manager is that professionals find it difficult to find a balance between persuasion and power respectively.

This is based on the my first hand experience in the past few years. Having been in the management role for a while and then in an ivy league business school, followed by consultancy in productivity, motivation and predictability coaching to various fortune 300 organizations, I have no doubt that the answer is very subjective.

Being a consultant, the objective is to assess, strategize and persuade towards execution of strategic direction. Without power, it is a completely different ball-game. If done for too long, consultancy can lead to a innate personality change and egalitarian mindset.

Management on the other hand is about maintaining the direction given by leadership and fresh pair of eyes (consultants). If done for too long, the mindset shifts to authoritative and power struggle starts hindering results and performance.

Finding a right balance between consultancy and management could possibly result in a perfect recipe for a senior leadership role. However, it all depends on the personality type - in addition to the challenges experienced in career progression in the past.

The answer to "what the right combination is?", is - "who knows".

Time will tell...

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Thank you very much for the insights and suggestions.

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