What are the qualities of a highly successful consultant?

Highly successful strategy consultants excel in the following activities:

  • Listen actively and communicate verbally, graphically and in writing
  • Analyze, synthesize and integrate data into a compelling story
  • Care for clients; empathize with their problems and ambitions
  • Enjoy learning every day; un-learn old knowledge when no longer valid
  • Cope effortlessly with long hours, extensive travel and a zillion types of crisis  

Specific characteristics at different stages of consulting career:
Entry level:

  • Gather information; leverage all useful resources within reach
  • Crunch the data until it makes sense
  • Be self-sufficient; free the manager from need to micro-manage

Case Team Leader:

  • Manage all aspects of project: team, client, and partner
  • Apply methodologies; transform random pieces of information into meaningful structures
  • Focus equally and simultaneously on the big picture and the details
  • Stick to schedule, budget and resource constraints; force the 80/20 rule
  • Coach junior consultants and develop their skills


  • Sell new projects 
  • Manage, maintain and develop client relationships
  • Market the firm and develop the brand through research (e.g., articles and books) and interviews
  • Lead the firm to new frontiers in diverse aspects: domains of expertise, technologies used, methodologies; partnerships; locations
  • Identify, hire and mentor employees with great potential

more via Quora


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