Consultants and academics lie at the opposite ends of the confidence spectrum.
Management consultants are supremely confident beings for they trade in the profession of marketing that confidence. Academics are supremely uncertain, for intellectual humility is a prerequisite in their chosen craft. Kartik Muralidharan summed it up beautifully when he quipped – ‘Consultants have confidence whereas academics have confidence intervals’.
Managers lies somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, for they are often the conduit between making decisions and taking them. The process of decision making involves research, analysis and number crunching. Decision taking, alternatively, involves committing to a particular course of action and and communicating it with minimal ambiguity.
The best managers are those that meld the intellectual humility of academic with the conviction of a consultant.
Inspiration: A conversation with Karthik Muralidharan