615-491-3597   ben@benjaminpapa.com

What Is The Difference Between Leadership Consulting and Business Consulting?

There is frequent confusion about the differences among different types of consulting, especially between “leadership consulting” and “business consulting.”  I will clarify some important distinctions here.  At a high level, we can think about business success as consisting of two factors:

1.  Business Intelligence

2.  Personal/Professional Effectiveness

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence is about the sort of things one learns in MBA school – things like finance, operations, tactical HR, and marketing.  Business consulting and management consulting tend to focus on these sorts of topics and business consultants tend to have led businesses or have specific education and training in business per se.   

How Does Professional Effectiveness Contribute to Business Success?

Professional Effectiveness is the second ingredient in business success. This is much more about the “human being” elements of being successful in business.  Effectiveness includes skills and characteristics such as self-awareness, collaboration, conflict management, communication, and executive presence.  Being professionally effective is a lot about knowing one’s true strengths and then fully leveraging them while also seeing and navigating around blind spots, all in the midst of complexity.

Professional Effectiveness is important at all levels of a business or organization, but Effectiveness is absolutely critical for leaders.  There is a great deal of data that shows that business leaders who are highly effective are much more successful in terms of meeting organizational and business goals (including profitability). This is in comparison to those who are very “business intelligent” but who are less effective.  Organizational effectiveness leader Patrick Lencioni notes in his book The Advantage that organizational health and effectiveness serve as a multiplier of business intelligence.  In other words, the more effective a business leader is, the better able they are to successfully tap into and apply business intelligence.  

What are The 3 Pillars of Leadership Consulting?

Leadership consulting, then, is largely about building and sustaining Professional Effectiveness skills in business and organizational leaders.  At Benjamin Papa, LLC the three pillars of our leadership consulting work are self-awareness, collaboration, and engagement. Each of these contains a number of other important leadership skills.  Common topics about which leadership consultants coach and train include resilience, emotional intelligence, empathy, and communication.  Good leadership consultants know that we are all human beings first and foremost. Before we are SVP’s, COO’s, CHRO’s, and CEO’s – we are people.  So showing up as solid, grounded, compassionate, and curious humans is the foundation for leadership effectiveness and therefore business success.  

In sum, business consulting is about the nuts and bolts of running a business from a tactical perspective.  Leadership consulting is more about the “soft skills” that have to be optimized in order to effectively engage one’s team and organization behind the mission of the business. Benjamin Papa is here to help you succeed! To learn more read about our coaching services, workshops and team building. And feel free to contact us at ben@benjaminpapa.com or give us a call at 615-491-3597!