Never forget about the owner
Never forgot about the owner or owners for that matter… Working on projects for family-owned, especially smaller organizations is often a rather different experience compared to the work for companies with other ownership structures.
Consultants often meet lean organizational structures with various management positions missing because being represented by the owner (or owners) usually results in very challenging combinations. In spite of the fact that a company may have several dozen employees, the consultant, based only on the numbers of the employees would expect that every part of the company has its own manager. This would be typical in most corporations. Often the consultant soon realizes that R&D, Finance and Sales department managers (for example) are all represented by one person - the owner of the company.
In such cases, the consultant may easily start to play the role of internal HR manager, as this role is among those often also represented by the owner. A situation like this may bring many opportunities for co-operation, as there are a lot of projects to work on, perhaps years of joint work ahead. The consultant may think, "Here is a good client! Great!"
However, there is one person the consultant should never forget about - the owner. Whatever executive searches are delivered, whatever training or development programs are developed and introduced, etc., there is always the owner with his or her own needs. The consultant should be careful to dedicate enough time to the owner, encouraging him or her to discuss personal aspirations, satisfaction and future goals.
Of course, the same goes with any other person in any other type of company. Behind the company goals and needs, there are our own personal needs and expectations influenced by our personality, experience, and knowledge.