June book review: The Secrets of Consulting

Gerald M. Weinberg
The Secrets of Consulting: A guide to giving and getting advice successfully

As a consultant, I find it illuminating and resourceful as it puts rationality and structure around seemingly irrational subject area. As a manager, I find it full of wisdom and wit, but perhaps lacking clear message and specific take-aways. As a reader, I simply find it entertaining. What am I talking about? "The Secrets of Consulting" book by Jerry Weinberg.

Jerry defines consulting as the art of influencing people at their own request. Even this definition alone makes me think hard and deep about my role as a consultant... or as a person who needs consulting help. In a casual conversational manner, Jerry introduces rules and laws helping a consultant become more effective and ultimately more successful at what she/he does.

To give you a taste of what this book is about, I listed a few of my favourite rules and laws below:

  • The Duncan Hines Difference: It tastes better when you add your own egg.
  • Prescott's Cucumber Principle: Cucumbers get more pickled than the brine gets cucumbered.
  • Rhonda's First Revelation: It may look like a crisis, but it's only the end of an illusion.
  • The Harder Law: Once you eliminate your number one problem, you promote number two.
  • Fisher's Fundamental Theorem: The better adapted you are, the less adaptable you tend to be.
  • The Bolden Rule: If you can't fix it, feature it.
  • The Third Law of Consulting: Never forget they paying you by the hour, not by the solution.
  • The Fourth Law of Consulting: If they didn't hire you, don't solve their problem.
  • The Fifth Law of Pricing: If you need the money, don't take the job.
  • The Principle of Least Regret: Set the price so you won't regret it either way.
  • Marvin's First Great Secret: Ninety percent of all illness cures itself - with absolutely no intervention from the doctor. Deal gently with systems that should be able to cure themselves.

For more information about the author, visit Gerald's website. Happy reading!

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