Building a Consultancy: More Principles

Building a Consultancy: More Principles

A couple of weeks ago, I started blogging about part of the journey of creating our SQL Server Consulting firm. I may someday work on more posts on the journey from full-time DBA to doing some side work to leaving with an “anchor client” to going off on my own (and my adventures with Linchpin People and joining up with others), and then the journey that eventually led to creating Straight Path Solutions as we know it today – a busy SQL Server consulting firm offering Senior DBA as a Service to over 100 clients, with a growing team of excellent full-time employees and some partners in areas we don’t hit as primary focal points. Maybe I’ll talk about being unafraid to be really great at one thing and partnering up or referring out for things we aren’t great at, leadership, HR, etc. Maybe I’ll do a session someday, “So you want to build a professional services firm and niche managed services offering?” – but I have to continue learning a lot more before I do that.

For today…

I’ll continue talking about our principles—just the principles for now. Two weeks ago, on the blog here, I announced this series of posts and shared our five core values (Generosity, Humility, Ownership Mentality, Hospitality, and Integrity) and the first two principles. Each day on my LinkedIn, I’ve discussed one of the values or principles. Last week, I wrote a LinkedIn article talking about the following seven principles.

The Next Seven Straight Path Principles

  1. “Come, let me show you” – Straight Path people teach. And we’re receptive to learning up
    and down the chain. Hands on. Teaching. Ensuring understanding.
  2. Crew Resource Management – We crave feedback. Even the hard feedback. We take it. We
    consider it. We grow. We seek feedback and chances to improve. No one is above or below
    receiving or giving feedback from anyone else.
  3. Ideas are welcome – New ideas are listened to and considered here. They are discussed,
    considered, and thought through. “It’s always been this way” is never a valid reason to keep
    doing (or not doing!) something at Straight Path. There must be more. We need evidence
    and understanding, not tradition.
  4. We give back – Straight Path will never dictate how we give back. But a Straight Path person
    is one who invests in others. Be it SQL community sharing, non-profit work, ministry work,
    etc. We find the time to help others. We invest in people and in our world.
  5. We’re a Team – We rise or fall as a team. We are made up of wonderful human beings with
    various strengths and weaknesses. Most Straight Path people could stop a small invasion
    on their own, but as a team aligned in purpose and mission – nothing can stop us.
  6. We love – Straight Path people love their neighbors. The word “others” is foreign to us. We
    believe the world is made up of other humans, all created in the same image and we’re here
    to help and serve one another. That’s love. We demonstrate this love in living by our core
    values and serving our clients and team. When we evaluate a decision by “Is this the loving
    decision,” we will never have the wrong answer.
  7. “Good luck!” – Shouldn’t be where we end – We’re more than just SQL, Cloud, and data
    experts; we’re problem solvers dedicated to our clients’ success. While we won’t have all
    the answers we don’t settle for “good luck with that.” We should be “Concierges” to our
    clients, helping them find the answers or put them in touch with the sources for answers of
    the questions they are asking, even if it’s beyond our scope. If Straight Path were a
    restaurant, we should be the kind of people who see an empty water cup on a table and fill
    it, regardless of our role.

Next week, I’ll share the next 7 principles, probably here, then the last 2 in a LinkedIn article in a couple of weeks. And I’ll talk about the principles each day on LinkedIn until each has been discussed.

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