Word Of The Day: Sitzfleisch

Every consultant needs to learn how to develop it.

Spending most of my time in Germany, every now and then I come across one of those unique and bizarre words that can't be literally translated into English.

Schadenfreude, for example, is "the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles and failures of other people." Wanderlust is "a strong desire to wander or travel and explore the world." But I discovered a new one that's specifically relevant to us consultants: Sitzfleisch.

Sitzfleisch means sitting your butt in the chair and not getting up until the task is complete. It's the ability to focus long enough to complete a difficult task, project, or whatever work needs to be done.

You might look at it as a mixture of discipline and endurance. For me, that's an important trait that we should develop. Showing up day after day, consistently doing the work even when nobody's watching.

This is not supposed to endorse, however, a "hustle" mindset.

Yes, you need to put up considerable time and effort to grow your consulting practice. But the most successful partners and advisers I've met don't obsess about efficiency, but prioritization. Identifying and performing fewer, but the most impactful activities for the business.

Once they know what they should do, they do it. Some might use specific tools and techniques to get over the knowledge-action gap. Others might simply sit on their butt and refuse to get up until work is done.

Whatever field or industry you consult in, there will always be difficult, long, and annoying tasks to be completed. Not all of those can be delegated, automated, or outsourced. You will have a choice to make: get it done, or find an excuse to avoid it.

When this happens, apply Sitzfleisch. Walk your talk, keep and fulfill your promises. As Art Williams said in his famous 1987 speech:

"I act like a winner. Winners do it, and do it, and do it, and do it, until the job gets done. And then they talk about how great it is to have finally achieved something you need. And how glad they are that they didn't quit like everybody else. And how wonderful it is to finally be somebody they're proud of. And make a difference with their life."

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jamie@example.com
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