I recently attended the Alberta Annual General Meeting for the Canadian Association of Management Consultants.

The agenda for the day was ambitious; the well-organized meeting included opportunities throughout the day to network and catch up with my peer group; an activity I always look forward to.  What made this trip to Calgary special and extremely worthwhile to me was the keynote speaker, John Izzo, Ph. D., best-selling author, sought after speaker and consultant.  I first came across John’s work a couple of years ago while leading a Senior Executive Workshop on Management and Leadership, where I showed a John Izzo You Tube presentation, titled “100 / 0” (here’s the worthwhile link; only 5 minutes in length). When the invitation to attend this year’s AGM had Izzo as the featured speaker, I was in all the way.  I came away from his forty-five minute presentation (and a few precious minutes alone with John afterward) energized, optimistic and anxious to get back to work!

A significant portion of John’s message was based on his 2012 book, “Stepping Up” and was directed to us, as consultants, emphasizing our responsibility for personal growth and continuous improvement.

I thought you might be interested in a few key highlights of what he had to say.  I sincerely hope this may resonate with you as well.

  • Great brands never get arrogant.  We need to ask ourselves, “In what way am I stepping up to grow and get better?”- Stepping up is seeing a need and deciding YOU are the person who can, will and should do something about it
  • Accept 100% responsibility with zero excuses (this is the 100 / 0 mentioned above).  Focus on how you are contributing to the problem instead of what someone else is doing
  • What’s your exciting vision about your own business as a consultant – what do you want to become known for? (this could apply to anyone, in any business)
  • Be a constructive irritant.  Be constructive, challenge your colleagues at work, break the silence
  • The best way to get people to act like owners is to treat them like owners; give them a seat at the table; treat them like adults and they will act like adults
  • Self-awareness – “who tells the truth?”  Be a feedback junkie; be a learner, particularly from your clients; subject yourself to their counsel

Can’t wait to read John’s book and keep on “Stepping Up!”

Dick Frenz