Greetings.  Have you ever noticed that there are special days and weeks each year to honor different professions?  There's "World Teacher's Day," "National Nurse's Day," "International Fire Fighter's Day," "National Police Week," "National Bus Driver Appreciation Day," "National Accountant's and Tax Preparer's Day" and "National Hug a Scientist Day."  All for professions that deserve our respect and recognition.  There's even a "National Salesperson Day," a "National Banker's Day" and a "National Help Desk Day" just in case you have any energy left and would like to honor folks who don't always make your day.

And then there are consultants.  The folks who, at their best, fly under the radar. And who, at other times, are the butt of jokes for "borrowing your watch to tell you the time."  In fact, a quick search on the web found the following seven answers to the proverbial question:  

"How many consultants does it take to change a light bulb?"

  1. We don't know.  They never get past the feasibility study.
  2. We don't know, but they'll have an estimate for you a week from Monday.
  3. Three.  One to change the bulb and two to write the standards and tell him what he did wrong.
  4. At least three.  One to research wattage to select the most energy efficient bulb.  One to either perform or supervise the installation.  And one to hang around your office until it's time for the new bulb to be replaced.
  5. Five.  One to change the bulb and four to contemplate how Tom Peters would have done it.
  6. Five.  One to change the bulb and four to tell him how much better they could have done it.
  7. What's your budget?

Given this, I'm not holding my breath waiting for the inaugural "National Be Kind to Consultant's Day."  And I'm not waiting to be called to make a presentation on "Career Day" at the local elementary school.  But I was particularly amused this summer when I got on a bus in Stockholm, Sweden, and saw the following sign…

IMG_6103 

A sign that says:  "Consultants are People Too."

And maybe that's all that any of us should hope for in this interesting world we share.  To be appreciated for who we are and what we bring to work each and every day.  Whether we are out front in leading the charge or behind the scenes making things work better.

We win in business and in life when we are appreciated for making a real difference in the lives of those we have the privilege to serve.  Even if it means simply being "people too."

Cheers and have a fun and successful week ahead!