One of my parenting lessons learned is to never take your kids to a performance of Spider Man: Turn off The Dark in New York. After that, any show that doesn’t have a guy in colorful leotards swing out over the audience and land right in front of your balcony seat to the background of a Bono-penned rock anthem just won’t cut it. I’ve got to take them to a revival performance of Tru just to reset their baseline expectations.
These were just some of the thoughts passing through my head a couple of weeks ago as we took a family trip to see The Man of La Mancha down at the Hobby Center. As you may be aware, the show tells the story of Alonso Quijano, a Spanish nobleman who dreams of being a knight, and who sets out to live his dream as Don Quixote. The story revolves around how he perceives the world, and how the characters outside of his dream react to his perceptions.
It reminded me of a comment my old college roommate told me when we met up for lunch a couple of weeks ago. According to him, the “problem” with consultants, is that they always want to make the world a better place. They can’t just accept the world as it is. The consultant, you see, is the ultimate optimist. They see an organization, and think, “a challenge.” They see a work intake process, and think “portfolio optimization.” They see a spreadsheet, and see an opportunity for “efficiencies.”
We consultants dream that impossible dream. And gradually, just like Sancho Panza, and Aldonza, our clients start to share that dream. And maybe, just maybe, if they start to share that dream, even just a little bit, we have proven our worth and delivered value.