Thank you for visiting the Jacobsen Consulting web site. This web site is about developing ethical and effective leaders and management consultants through mentoring. That is my passion!
During my years of working in organizations I was very fortunate. I was able to look forward to a good day at work when I got up in the morning. When I returned home in the evening I felt a sense of satisfaction with what I had accomplished and with my interactions with my colleagues. I knew that not everyone feels that way about his/her job. Thus, I launched Jacobsen Consulting in 1983 to help business leaders create the type of highly motivational, ethical and productive work environment that I had enjoyed.
I retired from management consulting in December 2004, to build my "dream house." "Building" turned out to be remodeling, and I thoroughly enjoy the mental and physical challenges of this activity.
Since my retirement I continue to be approached by leaders and consulting colleagues in search of a mentor. I truly enjoy serving as a mentor. Retirement is not about doing nothing; it is about doing what you enjoy doing. Thus, I have accepted a limited number of mentoring arrangements and will continue to do so.
Jacobsen Consulting is dedicated to developing ethical and effective leaders and management consultants who inspire and enable the people they lead to accomplish outstanding results.
The focus of my business was only on people in positions of organizational leadership. They are the people who create the immediate work environment in which the people who report to them work. When they provide ethical and effective leadership the people on their team can accomplish outstanding results. When they focus on their own needs, instead of the needs of the people they lead, their life is full of headaches and their team fails to perform to its potential. Thus, my mentoring is focused on helping them to provide the leadership needed to bring out the best in the people they lead and to accomplish the results for which they are responsible and held accountable.
Consultants have common interests with leaders. Consultants have to lead, too, but without any formal authority. They are both concerned with organizational performance and bringing change efforts and projects to a successful conclusion. They have to help people face up to and resolve issues to improve the performance. When consultants are successful they can have a high impact on organizational culture and performance. They can be fulcrums for moving organizations forward.
I have served as a mentor to consultants through the mentoring programs of the Institute of Management Consultants, and the Professional and Technical Consultants Association. Consultants also have a special challenge. They have to market their services to people who may not be aware that they need them. They have to sell their services to client prospects whose career may depend on the outcome of the consulting assignment. They are selling their prospects hope in a better future. They have to inspire confidence that they are the people to whom their prospects can entrust career-defining assignments.
Absolutely! In today's job market you need whatever competitive advantage you can get. You have a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. You need to be able to capitalize on your strengths, minimize the effects of your weaknesses, and become skillful in working effectively with a diverse spectrum of people. For most people in a leadership role, leadership skills are more career defining than technical knowledge. I have seen many more leaders lose their job because of problems with their leadership than for lack of technical skills. I have seen consultants lose engagements because they failed to size up the client or engagement accurately, lacked interpersonal skills, or did not know how to close the sale. It is far better for your career to avert a setback than to have to recover from one.
An internal mentor is one who works in the same organization as you. An external mentor is a mentor independent of your employer. You can't count on finding an appropriate mentor among the people with whom you work. While they may be in touch with the culture of your organization, and able to open doors for you, typically their first allegiance is to your employer. It may be more difficult to be candid with them. They may have vested interests that may get in the way of what is best for you, or they may leave your organization leaving you without a mentor.
An external mentor is independent of your employer. You can discuss issues of concern in confidence without concern about whether your candor will cause you problems. An external mentor is free of a conflict of interest between your career goals and your employer's interests. If you change employers you don't have to search for a new mentor. The one thing an external mentor cannot do for you, however, is to open doors for you within the organization where you work.
Since 1987, in addition to consulting, I have served as an external mentor to people in positions of leadership, and to independent consultants. In retirement, I am serving as a mentor to only a few clients at a time. I view each client as unique and tailor our arrangements accordingly. I am always pleased to talk with anyone about his or her career as a leader or to consultants to determine whether there is a "fit" between us.
The people I take as clients are dedicated to developing their full potential. They are open to different approaches to their challenges. We explore their options and the implications of the courses of action open to them. They decide which is best, given their circumstances. After the fact, we review the results they achieved to learn from them. We discuss the books and articles they have read and any educational program in which they participate to "bring it home" to them. I am available, as needed, between meetings for phone calls and e-mails.
There are more people in need of leadership knowledge and skills than I could possibly ever mentor. To help a larger audience
with their challenges as a leader I wrote a practical, down-to-earth book, Leadership at Your Fingertips. It helps you to deal
ethically and effectively with real world issues of leadership in organizational life. It provides approaches and answers for
many of the questions clients have asked me. The format is issue-friendly and the content is clearly expressed and readable.
For more information on my book, click on the Leadership Book button above.
You will find information about Jacobsen Consulting, myself, and samples of my work and thinking on this web site. You can get
a good sense of who I am and what I bring to an engagement through reading some of my articles. To contact me for more information
please click on the Contact - More information button above.
Again, thanks for visiting the Jacobsen Consulting web site! If you are interested in learning and growing as a leader or consultant, let's get together to explore your goals, needs and the sort of mentor who will work best with you.