Over the years, I’ve received a lot of great advice. One piece of advice I keep coming back to is about managing expectations. It came from an old friend, just a few days after I’d started my consulting practice.
He was a seasoned consultant himself and I had asked him what I should know, just starting out. He told me his First Rule of Consulting:
The idea is blindingly simple, actually. Every so often, you’ll run into someone with beans who has, for no good reason, decided to put them up their own nose. Way up there. In a place where beans should not go.
Now, there is no logical explanation for this. There is no way to say, “Yes, I can see exactly why you’d want to do that.” They came to this decision all on their own. The way they got to this decision defies logic.
And here’s the thing: As an observer of this decision’s outcome, all we can do is cringe. We can try to argue. We can explain in the utmost rational terms why this is a bad idea. We can physically grab their arm and shake the bean from it.