Leaders lead. And that is what PwC’s Head of Consulting Paul Terrington CBE has done with
With a distinguished thirty year career in consulting which has seen him awarded a CBE for services to the Northern Irish economy you might have thought he felt he had nothing to prove.
You could not be more wrong. A long term advocate of Chartered he led by example and earned it for himself.
I think it’s really important for senior leaders in the industry to demonstrate their own personal commitment to the standards they believe should be set for others. It is a case of not just saying doing as I say but do as I do. I felt it was important to be credible as a leader in advocating certain standards in our industry that I prove that I had achieved them myself. It was fundamental as a leader. I personally feel as the leader of PwC’s UK consulting business that it was entirely right that I went through the process.
And even with all of Paul’s experience and leadership skills he found the process both revealing and stretching.
The criteria was no less relevant to me now that I am leading a consulting business than it would have been when I had different roles earlier in my career. The criteria accurately sets out what it takes to be a good consultant. I had a long career to reflect upon and many experiences to consider and draw upon. I found it a thought provoking and revealing process.
Just like anyone else at PwC who is undertaking Chartered, Paul availed himself of the support his firm has set up to help candidates succeed. He said:
The criteria is very relevant but even with my experience it was stretching. It is a very accessible process but it does require a bit of work and commitment to think it through. It is not the kind of thing you can just spend a couple of hours on one evening.
And with all his experience, Paul was aware that to some extent there was credibility at stake when he started the process.
People in our profession don’t like to fail at anything. When you undertake a challenge you want to achieve. There was a bit of joshing amongst my leadership team about what would happen if I failed. But it was something I took very seriously.
Some in the profession doubt that Chartered has the cut through with clients that could make a difference in the market place, but Paul is in no doubt that it will be a crucial differentiator in time. He said:
It will be a differentiator in time. We have to increasingly make it the norm.
Clients will notice a marked difference between those who have made a commitment to higher standards and those who have not.
We are not a regulated sector and we suffer from the fact that anyone can affix to themselves the label of ‘consultant’ without a commitment to our standards and professionalism. Chartered takes us closer to the advantages that more regulated professions have. It is the future for our industry without doubt.
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