“Wo Wo Whoa Whoa Whoa” is me…or is it?
By: Kristine Schoonmaker
Ever feel like that guy in “Livin’ on a Prayer?” You know what I mean. It seems like you do the same thing over and over again.
I’m talking about Richie Sambora in case you were wondering. Aside from his guitar playing and writing, which were arguably pretty important, he’s apparently the poor bastard that drew the short straw to sing “Wo Wo Whoa Whoa Whoa” over, and over, and over again.
I hear from new consultants all the time that they feel like they get the crap work.
- They have to run the same analysis over and over again every week…
- They get stuck formatting the PPT Deck…
- They have to plan the team dinner…
- They have to take notes in meetings…
- They have to do a bunch of research…
And none of it seems to matter. Just take good old Richie here. You won’t find his part included in any of the song lyrics. In fact, you barely even catch one shot of him singing it the music video. And no, it’s not because all the hair blocked the camera.
But, here’s what’s interesting…
That simple little thing is also arguably the most famous and defining part of that song – one of Bon Jovi’s biggest hits. When you hear it, you know exactly what’s coming. And the reality is the song just wouldn’t be the same without it. Just watch any of the acoustic versions and you’ll see what I mean.
Likewise, you may not realize that:
- By doing that analysis every week, your client saw a very insightful trend that caused them to change their strategy.
- The high level of professionalism of your team’s presentation was one of the deciding factors in selecting your firm for a project.
- Morale on your team had been in the toilet for months because of all the late nights…but that event was the spark they needed to rally.
- Client decisions stick now because there is a good record of what was discussed.
- A better application was chosen, which actually saved the client money and met their needs better, because your research uncovered an option they didn’t know existed.
The reality is that everyone – even me – loses sight of how the “little stuff” they do can make a big difference. Just take my newsletter. It certainly isn’t the “money making” part of my business. But, I do it because I want to help people – by giving them free tips and useful resources that I think could make a difference for them. And maybe one day they’ll become a customer. Or maybe they won’t – and that’s ok too. I’ll go weeks and weeks wondering if people really care about the stuff I write. Then one day, I’ll get a nice email from a reader in Vietnam telling me that my tips are vital as he considers a career change, or someone at a University talk I give tells me my newsletter is the only one she actually reads. Who knew?!
So what’s the lesson here?
Sometimes the stuff that seems least significant makes the biggest
difference. How is what you’re doing making an impact?
If you feel like what you’re doing doesn’t matter, maybe it’s time to ask your boss or your client how it connects to the bigger picture. Do other people a favor too, whether it’s your mom, your favorite consultant mentor or the people on your team. Let them know how the little things they do impact you.