Management Consulting 101 The Most Common Mistakes Made by Management Consultants

Management consultants are just people, and people make mistakes. However, I will not mention common working principle mistakes that everyone in every place makes. There are some particular false moves that would counteract any attempts to forward in your career path as a consultant in the Big 3. Here are the most common mistakes made by management consultants!

1. For Junior Consultants

Thinking that you are better than the client

No, you maybe better in structural thinking or in analytical skills, but the clients are better in some aspects too




Not leveraging enough

Yes, the conventional way to increase output is to increase your own input. But that resource is limited and at some point painful to use. Great consultants are those who can take advantage of other various resources (as a consultant, you have access to a lot of those): clients, your firm’s support teams, et


Underestimate the importance of client relationship

Eg: When consulting for a client in a new industry, they must be the master, not you. So always ask them or seek help from them whenever you are stuck

Spending time on adding useless tasks.

E.g: some people are just so picky about making a powerpoint as nice as possible.


Not talking to experts enough

A lot of consultants prefer to “do research on my own first” and “only call an expert when I know something first”. Well… that’s one way to do it, but it’s a super long one!


Not taking your health serious enough

The truth is, your bosses don’t care that much about your physical and emotional state. So they will pressure you on doing things that are not in your best interest. You must be the one to protect your own life, and health is a big part of it!



2. For EMs and above (project manager)

Trash your team members

You know what, if your guys screw up, you do too. The best way to bring a guy back to productivity is NOT to yell at him every time he makes s mistake…



Not considering outside opportunities enough

Consulting is a great industry to start off your career. But as you have a few years in it, the outside opportunities may well exceed what consulting can bring you.



If you want to find out more about the life of a McKinsey consultant, see also Day in The Life of A Consultant.​ If you are interested in joining management consulting, see our Case Interview and McKinsey PST article today!



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