Krishna or Shakuni? Who is your consultant?

Rohit Dogra March 28, 2022

Whether you are an entrepreneur, boss, employee, leader, or a follower, or whatever your role may be, there are times we all get stuck in life and need someone whom you could consult, and then offers you either a solution or a direction towards the solution.

Not only do we need such people when we are stuck but many times we onboard them early on in order to avoid getting stuck.

In Mahabharata, there were two important characteristics, Arjuna and Duryodhana. Even though both of them were trained warriors by the same guru, Dronacharya, both of them chose to have consultants on their side. Krishna was Arjuna’s consultant and Shakuni was Duryodhna’s consultant.

Did Arjuna and Duryodhana achieve the same destiny? Was Krishna too genius and Shakuni too dumb? Can you imagine a totally different outcome? Do you think that the outcome of Mahabharata would have been the same if Shakuni would have been Arjuna’s consultant and Krishna would have been Duryodhna’s consultant?

Hence, it becomes critical whom you choose as your consultant. But how do you know who is who? How do you differentiate between Krishna and Shakuni? Maybe the following pointers will help you find the right consultant.

Define your problems first

First of all, do you know what problems you are trying to solve? Have you defined the problem properly? Is it Sales, Marketing, Account Management, Operations, or HR? Is it a Strategy problem, an Execution problem, or both?

Look beyond looks

While considering a consultant, don’t just look at the obvious. A photogenic face, infectious smile, impeccable English, MBA degree, and a rockstar social profile, are all good but are there any credentials that validate his expertise? Has he solved problems similar to yours? Does he have the relevant experience? Are there any testimonials that can be validated? A big company guy who has not been hands-on, might not be a good fit for a startup company where too much hands-on work might be required. The opposite of this also holds true.

Strong value system

The Consultant you will end up hiring will be like the doctor with whom you will have to open up and share all your mistakes, the challenges you face, all your frustrations, and everything that you are not happy about. Hence integrity of the person becomes paramount. When you speak to him were you able to see any red flags? Is he a stoic or a blabbermouth? Can you trust him enough to share your company’s hard-earned problems?

Beyond a Yes man

While interviewing the consultant did you come across him as someone who has got an independent thinking process or is he more of a yes man who says, “Yes I can do everything that you will ask me to do”? Did he also disagree with you on anything? When he disagreed, was he able to explain why he thinks differently? Can he think holistically? Does he have a logical approach to problem-solving?

Team Player

It will be rare for a consultant to work in thin air. In most cases, you will be exposing the consultant to your team, especially if he is not limited to strategy and is also involved in the execution. Therefore, it becomes important that the consultant has a balanced personality and there is a good probability of him being a team player.

Past results don’t guarantee future returns

Whoever you hire as a consultant, whether he is a seasoned professional, big company guy, small company expert, IIT/IIM graduate, or an average college graduate, regardless, the past results don’t guarantee that future returns will also be the same. This is because the variables could be too many. The economy turned bad, old strategies became redundant, the support from your team did not happen, or simply luck was not either your or his side. All I am saying is that in spite of the best intentions of making it work it might not still work if it does not have to. In such situations, it is better to accept the truth and move on rather than be in a toxic relationship.

Did you ever feel the need to hire a consultant or have you hired in the past? Was it a Krishna or Shakuni moment? Are you considering hiring someone who could listen and understand your business problems, validate your ideas, and offer a practical solution that works? If yes, try setting up a call with us and explore if we could be the right fit for you.

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