Play Yourself

Feb 09, 2015 by Barc Category: Blog, Career, Leadership 0 comments

I recently read the following passage in Geoffrey Bellman’s “The Consultant’s Calling”, and it rang true to me. I’d add that I think his message applies to employees as well as consultants.

Establish a consulting role that asks you to be–to “play”–yourself. Being a consultant is more comfortable than playing one. Even if you play the consultant role very well, if it is not you it is still an act. When the costume and the script regularly differs dramatically from what you are thinking and feeling, you will suffer the consequences. We all do this, but being more conscious of what we are choosing to do makes it less likely that we will carry too many role burdens. Consulting can provide us the opportunity to be ourselves, but we have to make that opportunity.

I believe this wholeheartedly. Many consultants and employees who have worked for me were clearly (badly) acting, and many of the better actors exhaled a huge sigh of relief as soon as the day was over.

What a waste of time, their lives, and the client’s or boss’s money.

The most successful consultants and employees I’ve worked with are the ones who get into a situation where they are typecast as themselves.