Michael and Tom discuss managing extreme fatigue and stress: using a personal incident at FC when a partner collapsed and had a seizure recently. Michael decided to discuss this subject because some of the most popular podcasts on our iTunes channels Strategy Skills and Case Interviews are usually podcasts about softer issues. In fact, after the interviews with Bill Matassoni and Kevin P Coyne, the most popular podcast is How to be Productive.
We did not think podcasts about less technical skills would be so much in demand. So given how popular is productivity when it comes to FC community, we decided to do a podcast on managing extreme stress and fatigue, which is something every consultant deals with at one point or another.
Stress and fatigue is always in the background within the consulting environment. There is no way around it. Projects are tough and value has to be delivered to the client. Deadlines shift, data cannot be collected on time, the client is demanding, the scope of the study changes, a computer crashes and you lose day’s work, internal project demands conflict with client work demands, and the list goes on.
Worse, the subject of managing fatigue and stress is often frowned upon within consulting firms. It is a badge of honour to “pull an all-nighter or to “work through the weekend”. Consultants are afraid to bring up this topic because they are concerned it may raise questions about their “fit”, whether they can “make it” in consulting, whether they are “partner material.” The situation is worse within MBB and other firms that practice up or out policy. And similar sentiment can be observed outside of consulting firms.
FC also has a very client-first culture and we look at the implications of this philosophy.
This is a very unusual podcast. Michael runs it as a Colin Farrell movie, sharing an unexpected event that happened during a recent business trip, how something went really wrong and how we handled it, flashing back to explain what led to it and then flashing forward to discuss the lessons learned.
So get some popcorn, candy, or relax into your seat if you are listening on your commute from work, and enjoy as we share a very personal behind-the-scenes story.
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