Life Lessons: Management Consultants Share Their Insight with a Ride Share Driver

Driving in San Francisco, I have the pleasure of driving passengers around from various careers and walks of life. Software developers, bartenders, founders of start-ups, electrical engineers, mutual fund investors and even other ride-share drivers.

Most of the time, I’m super curious and I like asking the people that I pick up a ton of questions about their careers and try to get a stronger insight in to how they do what they do.

Every time I pick up a management consultant I ask them two questions.If you had to sum up your consulting lessons in to this drive what would you say? And what qualities do you believe make a good leader?

So far two-thirds of the time I get the same answer.

“Leaders shouldn’t follow the Golden Rule, they should follow the Platinum Rule.”

I’ll be honest when I first heard this, I didn’t know what the Platinum Rule was. My mind wandered off to the early 2000's when rappers always bragged about selling platinum records. Basically, the platinum rule is that you should treat others how they want to be treated. Rather than follow the golden rule which is the treat others the way that you want to be treated.

Today, it seems that leaders in the business world’s biggest challenge is relating to their employees. Management consultants help these managers gain a clearer picture on how they can perform better.

Clients that hire management consultants at times have the symptom of not being able to recognize what it is that they are doing wrong. A management consultant can assist their client by giving them the straight talk they need to perform better.

I asked another consultant what qualities made a great leader. He told me that after his experience in the field, he learned to recognize that there were no standard qualities required for a great leader.

“A leader has to be able to relate to the people that he is leading, and just needs to be flexible enough to work with a variety of personality types. Therefore, he can have a variety of qualities as long as they fit his team”

Again, a similar pattern here. A leader needs to be able to eliminate their biases and personal opinions in order to work well with others.