I must admit, when Mark Smith recommended we read ‘Getting NAKED’ as part of our 90 Day Mentoring Challenge, I was quite taken aback … until I realised that contrary to what the name might suggest, it was nothing to do with exotic dancing, or naturism. It is actually a book about management consulting.
Hmmmm … management consulting …
If I’m being completely honest, my interest did somewhat wane at that point, and the book plummeted ungracefully towards the bottom of my reading list. It wasn’t until several weeks (ok, sorry Mark … maybe it was months) later, that one particularly warm sunny day encouraged me to hit the deckchair with Getting Naked in mind.
Thankfully the weather stayed with me, as I should most definitely NOT have judged this particular book by its cover … I literally didn’t move until I had read the whole book!
Getting Naked is written by Patrick Lencioni, himself a consultant, acclaimed speaker and founder of his own management consultancy, The Table Group. In this interesting and well written novel, Lencioni shares a simple but effective model for providing first rate consultancy and client service. What makes this book very special is the way he does it …
Seen through the eyes of a highly successful management consultant Jack Bauer, the novel focuses on his confrontation with arch nemesis, the mysterious Michael Casey. The plot sees Jack propelled from one unexpected and unwelcome situation to another, and his resulting behaviours and reactions, along with those of the people around him, are exposed for the readers scrutiny and delight.
The plot takes several twists and turns, and along the way showcases some highly effective and inspirational practice, alongside some of the less honourable techniques many readers may have witnessed from management consultancies … with Jack and his colleagues being the prime offenders. And all the while the author artfully leads us towards his own set of methods and conclusions, helpfully summarised at the end of the book.
For any consultant whose aim is to be considered a trusted advisor to their clients, the lessons learned during Jack Bauer’s voyage of discovery, around ‘Naked Service’ and how vital this is to building trust and loyalty with clients, are invaluable. If I am ever in the position of recruiting future consultants, this book will be on their desk on day 1.