Why I do what I do... LO12848

Sherri Malouf (sherri@maloufinc.com)
Mon, 10 Mar 1997 14:17:21 -0500 (EST)

I am a consultant. A dirty word with some people I know. We get accused
of "using mops and buckets" and we don't make *real* products like
airplanes. I have a colleague who refers to work in the software world
she did years ago as her last *real* job... I run a company but our
products are tools for creating good relationships. Sad that this has so
little credibility in the *real* world.

I provide a service which has been invaluable for some. Some of the
things I have said or done with people have changed their lives -- not
just work but their whole lives for the better. Some people walk away and
don't like me. I can't be all things to all people. Some people think I
am brilliant and wonderful, others think I am full of shit. C'est la vie.

The service I provide is one of a catalyst -- "an agent that stimulates or
precipitates a reaction, development, or change." Sometimes I am a target
-- I find people use me for their negative energy because THEY CAN. The
things that have been said to my face or written on evaluations are
downright nasty. No danger from me, though. Internal people need me and
like me because I can take risks they can't.

I do what I do because I care. I care that people feel hurt and angry and
helpless. I help with a view, a way of looking at things, another
approach. Many feel frustrated in their interactions with other people --
I can help with that -- if people want the help.

I don't make things but I have provided help to those who make things.
What I make is a way of looking at situations or people. You see my
mission statement is unconditional love. I don't tell people that that is
what I am about becuase they would gag. Imagine starting one of my
programs or whatever with a statement like -- I am full of love and joy
this morning... Pretty funny to think about the faces. But it is behind
everything that I do.

I don't know where Wall Street would put me -- in the whacko department
probably. I teach common sense and down to earth practices because it
seems like people never learn how to work and be together.

I also make mistakes -- not having reached godhood yet... I remember my
first program after being away from work for 10 months due to a high risk
pregnancy -- and joking with a participant at a break about the amount of
pee a disposable diaper could actually hold. Someone totally took me to
task for that...I was unprofessional. Every move and comment is analyzed
and judged.

I also call things as I see them -- again -- lower risk for me than for
internal folks. I have seen a lot of companies in my career and know
about a lot of different kinds of businesses. I have been killed by
politics. I have lost business because I did the right thing for the end
user -- the learners as opposed to someone else in the organization. I
have taken sr. people head on and been successful.

People say things to me like -- I don't know how you do it but you get
right at the core issue. I am a straight shooter but I am tempered with
caring and usually low ego needs. I do what I do because I care.

I had a woman in one of my programs who was an admin person -- in her 50's
-- close to retirement. She was told she had an attitude problem which
she didn't understand. At the end of the three-day program she said she
learned some good tools for working with others but the best thing she
learned was that she had to love herself more. We never in the course
explicitly discussed self-love. That is why I do what I do -- it made a
difference in her life. My job satisfaction is from watching people grow
more accepting of themselves and others.

And guess what -- it seems as if we need that more than airplanes when I
look at the human condition... So tell me -- what is real? Why do folks
heap all their frustrations on consultants? Please don't come back with
some aren't good -- there are ineffective and unethical people in every
line of business... Are we really talking about resistance to change?
Resistance to learning? Is this At's law of Inverse lusts? Or is it
always good to have an enemy outside?

This is actually not meant to be defensive because I do not feel that way.
If you haven't been one I thought it might help to know why I do what I
do. I just get tired of what I see as constant swipes at different
professions like consultants, teachers, etc. Isn't this list supposed to
be above that kind of bitchiness?

sherri@maloufinc.com Tel:603-672-0355
LMA, Inc Fax:603-673-7120


Sherri Malouf <sherri@maloufinc.com>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>