Jack of all trades – Master of none

inspectorgadgetThis might tie in with my recent post where I fumed about “the lady who cuts the check”, and some of you might relate to this just as much. I’ve had a few clients that I’ve worked with that connected with a “consultant” to look over their use of technology. One of the aspects they inspect just so happens to be my area of service, their website. It’s usually hard enough to work one-on-one with a client and make sure they are a satisifed client, so bringing in a third-party inspector sure adds to the mix!

What irritates me the most about consultants is that they seem to have advice on quite a few areas of business, but have never really put much time or gained much experience on each specific area. They are the epitome of being a “jack of all trades – master of none”. And the input they provide usually makes that obvious. They might not be trying to intentionally annoy the people who actually know what they are doing (in their respective fields), but they’re sure skilled at that.

My advice to these “Inspector Gadget types” is to slow down, ask questions instead of giving instant advice or suggestions, and making sure they know where the client has been in the recent past. Some of your glorious requests might have been desired, but maybe the budget couldn’t support it? Maybe the client has every intention of having done everything you are suggesting and you end up being more annoying than helpful. Nobody is THE go-to expert on anything. That’s just how God has wired us. We always need the insight of others. Anyone have any stories or advice on how they have dealt with this?

PRAYING for my brother, and that God would continue to bless his ministry. PRAISING God for continually showing me to be of service and not coming in as THE expert.

  1. As website designers/developers, we all play the consultant role to some degree in the process. We are, after all, brought in to advise on something that the client doesn’t think is working and are paid to give our opinion on the matter.

    Also, a website isn’t (or shouldn’t be) an isolated silo of a business, but an integrated cog of a much larger machine. Being able to understand, communicate and then take into consideration those things is what gives good designers/developers value.

    We have all struggled with giving input into areas we don’t fully understand and yet we do so anyway and most often it is out of a desire to help that we venture into those unsure waters.

    So, my advice is to look at these opportunities as a way to lead those consultants and the client through the process. Ask good questions about the advice the consultant gives and show the client even more value by assisting the consultant with their job. After all, the client has brought them in and obviously trusts them.

    If the consultant isn’t worth their salt, then politely and privately share your concerns with the client. They obviously trust you too.

    Good word Gabe – consultants can play a positive role as they can bring experience and fresh eyes. They can also bring irritation where none is required and we can help our clients tell the difference.

  2. janelle

    ” Teflon ” – cooks what needs to be cooked…and yet nothing sticks that is not of value or from GOD…learn what is beneficial…and the rest…just smile and nod.

  3. It really sucks when I have a split reaction to pieces like this.

    One one side I wanted to just nod and accept the beating (because I am way too guilty here too often), and on another side I wanted to say, “how dare you call me that name? I’ve not been called that in years!”

    You are right though that those who are consultants – people who have a gift of prophecy/discernment who have honed it towards an area of business/ministry application – who might not have taken the time to hone in one area. But that’s just it with this particular personality/character type. One area doesn’t fit, and to keep them in one area would diminish some of what they do best in terms of problem solving, analysis, etc.

    The wisdom is clear though. All people need to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slower still to emotional reactions. Only then can we use our gifts in ways that edify the Body best, and all prosper in Him greatly for it.

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