I’m always interested in learning more about my profession. Every day I find that I am both adding value at my clients and at the same time being humbled by how much I still have to learn about governance, ethics process, organizational development, and managing organizational change. On rare occasions I have learned something valuable and practical from books, but that is an exception. Such an exciting exception occurred when I was asked to review Dr. Douglas Reeves’ book. What a delight and surprise!
It’s All About the Client is written in a clear and professional voice with many first hand accounts of actual client engagements. Yet, while entertaining and interesting to read, this book is full of textbook quality practical ideas, procedures, charts, and forms. Reeves has perfectly balanced these often mutually exclusive styles, and the take-away applications for you consulting practice from this “how to” manual are many indeed.
From busting the “Myth of Balance” (let’s face it, if you love what you do, you will spend as much time as possible doing it!) to the ever practical “It’s not about you, it’s all about the client,” Reeves dispenses sound advice for both those hiring consultants and the consulting firm itself. His no nonsense approach to the issues confronting consultants is refreshing and obviously comes from years of experience. The reader learns what to consider when deciding between staying a sole practitioner and building an organization – with no holds barred. Reeves gives us practical advice for aligning our time with our mission, along with the practical forms used to track how we spend our time. And the appendix is chock-full of additional practical outlines for engagement, task prioritization, etc.
Dr. Reeves has successfully distilled years of experience in building his consulting practice into accessible and invaluable advice for consultants in particular and business people in general. I believe this to be the single most important and practical book of the many I have read on the consulting profession. Reading this book will give the committed consultant confidence that done well, his or her chosen work has meaning and purpose.
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