I’ve been a consultant for many years and there’s good and bad in the work. The good thing is flexibility, the bad thing is when there’s not much work or a client is looking for a rubber stamp approval and I disagree. I like making a difference and bringing a new way of looking at things to a client. I used to have some trepidation when accepting a new assignment and it was because in the early years of my career, my ‘direct-speak’ caused problems of the, “I can’t believe she just said that out loud” kind.
As I gained experience, I remained true to myself (mellowed with time) and came to understand that people who want someone to just tell them they are right, are not going to hire me in the first place and that’s a good thing for both me and them!
While many people dislike the troublemaker or ‘insultant’ (the one who tells you the truth but not necessarily what you want to hear) —society needs them. Yes, there are nice ways to speak your mind but in the end, we need rabblerousers to see the world as it can be or even, how it needs to be.
We Americans wouldn’t even have a country if it weren’t for troublemakers so the next time someone has a different opinion or likes things you don’t understand– please take an extra minute and listen. S/he might be the next George Washington with ideas that will change the world. For more on this read, Chris Brogan’s post on “Appreciating the Wild Mind“.