The Consulting Thing – Part II
By Lyle R. Hill
I am hoping that you regular readers … up to 17 at last count … will remember that I wrote a column in this very magazine a few months back wherein this “Consulting Thing” was mentioned. Specifically, I talked about my many years in the industry … 48 and counting …and my desire to share what I have learned with you, the bright eyed, deep thinking and quite talented readers I love. Part I of this series dealt with common definitions and explanations to get you up to speed on any number of important business terms and practices. With that now behind us, we can get into the real meat of the program.
If you need a copy of Part I please send me some cash and a self-addressed, stamped envelope and I will mail a copy to you. Some of the lessons and recommendations I am going to provide were learned because of my own stupidity. I am hoping you can avoid the mistakes I made by absorbing some of what I will suggest. Okay, we have the background, so let’s get into Part II.
- Never burn a bridge … unless you are running from the law. This is an old axiom but a good one. Simply put, every bridge you go across, every person you meet and deal with, may need to be used at some point again in the future. Don’t dismiss or mistreat anyone.
- Take it easy … be as intense and anxious as you want to be, but keep it inside you. Yes, this might lead to a premature death but for the sake of your reputation, this is the way to go. After a few years in the biz I came to the conclusion that customers and suppliers like to deal with calm, easygoing and non-intense people.
- Remember the other Golden Rule … as you know, the Golden Rule says “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The other side of that rule is “expect to have done unto you by others what you have done to them.” Or as my Southside Irish friends here in Chicago like to say, “What goes around comes around.” Every time!
- Be patient … no one likes dealing with an impatient, nervous, pushy or overly aggressive person. Learn to practice patience and if you can’t really be patient, learn to hide your impatience.
- Watch your mouth … I can’t stand foul-mouthed, loud and obnoxious people. And you know what, most of the world is in my corner on this. Everything you say does not need a profane adjective to emphasize it. Saying stupid or intemperate things makes you look stupid!
- Self-promote with care … there is absolutely nothing wrong in the business world with self-promotion. It is somewhat essential. BUT, do it with care. Don’t be boastful or obvious. When you have done something really terrific and want the world to know about it, try to get someone other than yourself to get the news out.
- Don’t be a knocker … When I was quite young I worked under a very talented guy who was quite valuable to our company. But he was constantly running everybody down. I mentioned this to him one day and his response was, “kid, the sooner you learn that a knock is as good as a boost, the faster you’ll climb the old corporate ladder.” Of
course I realized he was probably knocking me to everyone else just like he was knocking all of them to me. When I became his boss, I let him go. People like this are cancers for a business.
- Accept criticism and take the blame for your mistakes … no one is perfect, including you. Be honest about your missteps to others and yourself. No finger-pointing and no playing of the blame game. In the long run, nobody wins this game.
- Help anyone and everyone you can … you have no idea how much good will come back to you by being the first one to help a co-worker who is struggling or a little overwhelmed. For further explanation on this, re-read number three above.
- Read Proverbs from start to finish … the twentieth book of the Bible’s Old Testament is stuffed with personal and business teachings that can be of incredible help to you. Yes, it gets a little preachy but the wisdom therein is found in virtually every chapter and many of the teachings … proverbs … found there are still quoted regularly today. I wish I would have read it and accepted its teachings much
earlier in my life than I did.
Okay … this is Part II. Whether or not there is a Part III will be determined by the response I get to this part. And as always, thank you for reading.
LYLE R. HILL has more than 42 years of experience in and around the auto glass industry. At one time he operated 71 auto glass retail shops and a wholesale auto glass distribution business. He is currently the directing manager of Keytech North America, a consulting firm, and is the co-founder of Glass.com®.
To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.
Read part 1 here.