Using Consultants

Some owners don’t want to be burdened with a Board of Directors but need outside advice. Those owners will often hire consultants. There are good consultants but recall Nebuchadnezzar's us of consultants as descriped in Daniel 2:3-5:

"And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation. The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill."

Today it hasn't changed. It goes something like this:

He said to the consultants, "I have had some ideas about my company that trouble me and I want to know what they mean." Then the consultants answered the CEO, "O CEO, may our contract go on forever! Tell your consultants the ideas and we will give them back to you in a report." The CEO replied to the consultants, "This is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me what my ideas should be, I will get another consultant."

In fairness to Consultants, they can provide two important services, expertise and impartiality. Expertise is important; neutrality is vital. A good consultant can offer you a unique perspective based on their training and experience but, more importantly, they can offer something very difficult to find internally - objective advice. Think of the kingdoms and companies that could have been saved by a little candor and objectivity.

Please remember; however, that what consultants offer is advice; not instruction. I've seen many very good managers hire consultants and do exactly what the consultants told them to do. You're a good manager and if you are also a good leader, you will take the advice and use it to make your own decisions. That's not to say that you won't often agree with the consultant, but you must remember to compare their input to your own experience and make your own decisions - you're the Christian leader.

The Christian Executive
© 1998 Ronald Rainson