In today’s podcast we step away from the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study and discuss something that affects every single management consultant in the world. And that is the issue of confidence, or even arrogance when taken to its extreme, and the role it plays in getting results on a consulting engagement.

We discuss the role confidence plays in your career. We look at what actually creates competitive advantage in your career. We further look at an example that showcases the limited value of confidence on a consulting engagement.

If you enjoyed this conversation we will be so grateful if you jump over to iTunes and share a quick review. It helps more people find us. 

Also a huge thank you for making “Strategy Skills” one of the most popular podcasts in the world for careers. 

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Comments

6 responses to The Role of Confidence in Consulting

  1. “No one is repulsed by a confident person.”

  2. Hello Cong,

    Confidence is ease and acceptance with oneself. It is a desirable trait to have. What you call over-confidence is arrogance and that is a negative trait.
    I do not think East Asian cultures appear confident when compared to US culture. It is actually the opposite. No one is repulsed by a confident person.

    Michael

  3. — I’m sorry, I had a typo in the previous post, so I am re-posting it below:

    Hi Michael,
    Thank you for revealing the importance of confidence when it comes to being a good consultant. However, I was wondering – do these guidelines of being “very confident” also apply when candidates are applying to MBB offices in East Asia? I’m asking because East Asian cultures tend to be appear less “confident” and “outgoing” compared to American culture. So, if a candidate seems too confident/assertive, would that be seen as repulsive? Thanks.

  4. Hi Michael,
    Thank you for revealing the importance of confidence when it comes to being a good consultant. However, I was wondering – do these guidelines of being “very confident” also apply when candidates are applying to MBB offices in East Asia? I’m asking because East Asian cultures tend to be appear “confident” and “outgoing” compared to American culture. So, if a candidate seems too confident/assertive, would that be seen as repulsive? Thanks.

  5. Hi Aamir,

    McKinsey people are not arrogant. Nor are BCG people intellectually humble and academic. Those are sweeping generalizations which are not true.

    One cannot use a one word descriptor for a firm with over 17,000 people. The same applies to BCG. Each person is different.

    Michael

  6. Thank you Michael. I guess you’re referring to Kris 🙂
    Coming back to my question on a related theme, what does it mean when McKinsey consultants are sweepingly labelled as “arrogant” in contrast to BCG Consultants who are labelled as “intellectually humble and academic”? I hope that as a two firm partner you might shed some light about the context around such labels with a real/hypothetical example.
    Thanks again!

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