The frustrations of consulting… and the need to laugh

Robert Paterson’s Weblog: The Consultant’s Trial – Do your clients drive you mad? Does the world depress you? Roger Harrison’s View

Thanks Robert for picking up John Husband’s posting. Much of this resonated with me. For example

In the early nineties I was burned out and discouraged with the results of my long career as a consultant. I turned to my autobiography as some people turn to their journals in an attempt to work out the meanings in my life. The work was fueled by th paradox in which I found myself. I was at the peak of my powers as a consultant, but my passions and values were less and less shared by actual and potential clients, It was increasingly difficult to find work that felt worth doing, in the sense of promoting the three values mentioned on the first page of this paper.

I’m not sure what the height of my own powers is (or was) but I have become disillusioned with much of the work I used to do. I form the impression that a great many of my contemporaries share this disillusion and we each try different ways to resolve it. The author of this piece refers to the Monk’s choice and I know that I’m not really up for that degree of solitude; likewise, he emerges from this period of reflection to re-engage with the corporate world on new terms.

In all this, a decent degree of humility is called for. And I was delighted – on another tip from Robert’s blog – to discover Doug Manning’s blog – this bit in particular:

How is it that we get so serious about life? The answer is simple

2 thoughts on “The frustrations of consulting… and the need to laugh

  1. Robert Paterson

    Hi John

    I wonder what is going on? So many of us appear to be in this black place. I am reminded that the “Pilgrims” came to America because of their cultural dissonance with mainstream life in Europe.

    Is this what is happening to those of us that are now in “another country” Unfortunately we have no place to go – except perhaps to find support from each other?

  2. Johnnie Moore

    Rob: I think of it as a dark place on frustrating days. On the other hand, what I took from the article was the importance of seeing different shades of light and dark.

    One of the brighter things that’s happening is those of us who like to challenge established systems can now network with kindred spirits whereever they happen to be in the world. Maybe, therefore, we don’t actually need a place to go – unlike the Pilgrims, we don’t have to move location to find them!

    I often reflect on the experience of coming into a warm house on a cold day. The moment I step into the warm is when I shiver the most and realise just how cold it has been outside. Like the darkness before the dawn, perhaps our malcontent is actually a sign that things are getting better!


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