A career in consulting: Leadership insights from the road

Updated: Jul 22


Recently I was interviewed by one of our up-and-coming EY Energy leaders Krista Yates. What a lot of fun. Always a pleasure to spend time with Krista, who is driving impactful value in our power and utility business in Canada.

We had a wide-reaching chat about professional services, values, leadership, learning and more, and Krista drilled me with some tough questions. As I reflect on our conversation, I’m reminded of a few key things:

  1. INSPIRATION: I think it’s important to love what you do at work, given that we spend so much time at work. Therefore, finding those career-defining moments that stand out (good and bad) and understanding how those moments shape you and your career is essential to ignite your inspiration.

  2. CURIOSITY: The importance of continuous learning and curiosity in professional services cannot be understated. Twenty-two years into my career, I’m still learning daily from the brilliant people at EY, our clients, and our projects.

  3. BALANCE: Professional services is fast-paced, and stakes can be high when solving complex client problems, so treating your career as a marathon, not a sprint is essential and making sure you maintain balance, health, and well-being.

  4. DIVERSITY: With two ambitious daughters, I deeply want to have equal opportunity in life; I’m reminded every day why DEI is essential and not optional now and in the future. Despite challenges and obstacles, we must keep this an ongoing priority in everything we do.

  5. MENTORSHIP: Having great mentors who tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear throughout your career, is like gold dust. I’m lucky to have a few fantastic mentors inside and outside EY. Each brings a slightly different perspective, all valuable.

  6. DECISION MAKING: The age-old saying that “no decision is worse than the wrong decision” rings true. What’s more important is what you learn from your mistakes, how you reflect and adapt in the face of those decisions and become better.

  7. HUMILITY: It’s sometimes easy to get ahead of ourselves in any role. I’ve found that the great leaders I’ve worked for bring tremendous humility and an almost servant approach. They are vested in your success and not their own.

  8. EMPOWERMENT: So essential to empower the people around you. Given how constant change is and how fast things are moving, enabling people around you helps get more done and supports those individuals to learn, develop and feel accountable for results.

In summary, I think we’re all a work in progress, but hopefully, every day, we get a little bit wiser, a little bit better and a little bit stronger.