A Consultant Explosion

By Greenfield, Meg | Newsweek, September 23, 1996 | Go to article overview

A Consultant Explosion


Greenfield, Meg, Newsweek


They have some of the lawyer's privileges with far fewer restraints

HOW DO YOU GET TO BE A CONSULTANT? PROBABLY the same way you get to be an editorial writer-you just say you are one, get yourself hired and start telling people what to do. The difference is that some people are likely to begin slavishly following your advice if you're a consultant. We in editorial writing don't generally have that problem. We also, I believe, enjoy a somewhat lower standing in those surveys people take of which calling is held by the public in least regard. Dick Morris could change that, however.

The incredible Morris saga has got me to thinking about the concept and reality of consultantship itself in our day. It is true that down through history, from Homer's seers to Rasputin to Morris himself, and including all manner of gurus, entrail readers and astrologists in between, there have been consequential figures employed more or less as consultants, persons thought to have special insights as both prophets and instructors in some realm. But I think it is only in our time that the general profession of consultant (is it actually a profession?) has come into being, the job of free-floating specialist-adviser on just about everything. Their range, as to both subject matter and competence, is enormous. On subject matter they range from consultants on how to reorganize your kitchen drawers and bedroom closets to consultants on how to reorganize your Fortune 500 company. In competence they range from truly estimable people with knowledge, grounding and experience who are well worth their fees to--well --just about anyone on earth who chooses to dub himself a consultant.

This last is the burgeoning part of the consultant population that has come to interest me. While there are some professional guilds and organizations of consultants, I don't believe there is any general licensure or consultant technical school or anything like that. And it has been my observation that the term "consultant," in your typical job-seeker resume, may easily be just another word for "unemployed." In addition, a lot of perennially losing candidates for local office, who seem to do nothing else but run, explain themselves in their campaign literature as "consultants" (also as "analysts," mainly of"policy"). And so do some of the still-unsettled young of my acquaintance, who have never worked anyplace for very long, but suddenly pronounce themselves "consultants." I ask myself: consultants to whom and on what earthly basis?

I stress this mixed-bag background so far as qualification and credentials are concerned because it is especially relevant to the role political consultants increasingly play, the bad along with the good. With or without much to recommend them, in some respects they are nowadays accorded a number of lawyerlike privileges and are thought of, in relation to their clients, pretty much the same way lawyers are. It is said, for instance, that just as every citizen entangled with the law is entitled to an attorney who earl help him beat the rap, so every politician running for office is entitled to employ the services of a political consultant who can help him beat the opposition. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Consultant Explosion
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.