#11: Don’t tell an old cowboy how to ride

In the wild west, everyone – and especially greenhorns – knew and followed rule #11: Don’t tell an old cowboy how to ride. Or in german: “Du sollst einem alten Trapper nicht in seinen Colt pissen.”

But incredibly, many consultants – especially junior ones – nevertheless think they know everything and everything best. Like the junior consultant who just finished a master in business administration instructing a senior manager of a financial services provider how to drive business. Or the one who’s for the first time involved in an IT organizational change program telling the CIO of a major utility why the chosen sourcing strategy is wrong. Or even better, the newly hired business consultant who’s telling the Chief Architect how to establish a holistic enterprise architecture driving real business innovation. Been there ? Seen that? Sure, you did.

In the wild west, kidding with an old cowboy either got you shot or at least got your nose busted. Really busted. Sadly, in business that’s not that common. Nevertheless, being a consulting greenhorn: Hold your horses. Take a seat back. Listen and learn. Respect others experience and knowledge. And don’t tell an old cowboy how to ride.

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