The Secrets of Consulting

Rated 4.80/5 based on 5 reviews
If you are a consultant, or ever use a consultant, this book is for you. The author draws on his 50+ years of consulting experience to share his secrets about the often irrational world of consulting. "This is a great book. Period! ...this advice is clearly applicable to more than just consulting; it is applicable to life in general." "The book is truly wonderful. A must have!" - Amazon reviews
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About Gerald M. Weinberg

Gerald M. Weinberg (Jerry) writes "nerd novels," such as The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, and Mistress of Molecules—about how brilliant people produce quality work. His novels may be found as eBooks at or on Kindle. Before taking up his science fiction career, he published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. He also wrote books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the four-volume Quality Software Management series. He incorporates his knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, and software engineers). Early in his career, he was the architect for the Mercury Project's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. Winner of the Warnier Prize and the Stevens Award for his writing on software quality, he is also a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame. The book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) honors his work for his 75th birthday. His website and blogs may be found at

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Reviews of The Secrets of Consulting by Gerald M. Weinberg

Joe DeMeyer reviewed on April 3, 2012
(no rating)
I am enjoying this book. While I look forward to applying these rules in my work as a Test Lead, I think they will also help in my interactions with consultants in my workplace.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Sergey Shishkin reviewed on March 13, 2012

This is a very thought provoking book written in a humorous style. It may leave you with more questions about the subject than you previously had though.

I only wish I have read it before I tried to be a consultant myself. Also the Kindle edition of the book is has no formatting whatsoever - just plain text. At least hyperlinks between the chapters and rules might aid reading enormously.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
Carlos Méndez Abonjo reviewed on Oct. 10, 2011

For me, a recently started consultant, this book provides a font of knowledge and experience very useful. As it is says in the book, the book itself is a kind of a consultant in paper.

The only bad aspect was the poor format of the e-book edition.This should be revised in the future.
(reviewed 41 days after purchase)
Elad Sofer reviewed on April 4, 2011

In contrast to many other books with promising titles such as "how to XYZ in 21 days" or "Succeeding with XYZ", this book really does stand up to the promise of providing the "Secrets of consulting" (or at least some of them).

Chapter after chapter Jerry Weinberg unveils the principles and truths behind being a successful consultant. He does this in a humorous and appealing ways, using stories and examples from multiple domains, making this book not only informative and educational, but also a fun experience for the reader.

Since the very beginning of this book, I got a feeling that I could trust what the writer sais (writes), and as I continued to read on, This trust had increased more, even when some of things written are a hard to implement and require self discipline and character, I do believe that by following the principles offered I can (and will) be a better consultant and of a better service to my customers. I could already detect myself using some of the stuff without deliberate intention.
I would claim that this book is a must have in every consultant's library.
The only regret I have about reading this book, is that I haven’t done it 5 years ago.
(reviewed 43 days after purchase)
Natalia Zhdanova reviewed on Feb. 24, 2011

Not being a native English speaker, sometimes I find it hard to motivate myself to read books in English (except for educational materials required for my professional development). However, this book had been continuously recommended by my most trusted friends, so I decided it is worth making an effort -- and never regretted.

First, it is one of the most in-depth and comprehensive books on psychology of consulting written by non-psychologists.

The exquisite art of giving out advice, while respecting the decision maker's sensitive ego and fragile self-esteem, is almost extinct nowadays. The ability to accept advice without anxiety or offense and apply it effectively is also a rare talent. Under these conditions, consulting becomes a misused and undervalued marginal practice.

As a client:

- Have you ever quietly stewed, as those smarty pants claimed that they can teach you how to manage the problems which had plagued your business or your life for many years?
- Have you ever envied those megabucks the consultants get just for blabbering and giving out commonsense advice?
- Have you ever thought their hourly pay is a racket, because under such conditions they are not interested in solving clients' problems?

As a consultant:

- Have you ever waken up in cold sweat screaming: "OMG, everything is wrong! My whole life is one big mistake!"?
- Or have you ever wanted to see your clients as a captive audience, forcefully esposed to all that good, wealth and happiness you intended to bring them?

This book will lighten your burden, really. It will be helpful and inspiring for those new to consulting, but also will cheer up and comfort the experienced consultants.

Second, this book provides handy framework for thinking about consulting and your own role in it, your personal input, achievements, failures, expectations and so on, as a complex system. Thus, it enables further re-evaluation of personal experience and the exploration of new ways to apply it to your consulting practice.

Third, I certainly cannot overlook an important bonus: this book seemed very kind and funny for me. I dont't know whether it is a benefit worth mentioning, but this book left me in a much better mood, yeah.

Finally, to those studying English as a foreign language -- tons of nice idioms served in a comprehensible context are awaiting you in this book!
(reviewed 13 days after purchase)
Keith Pitty reviewed on Dec. 30, 2010
(no rating)
This is a wonderful book. The paperback version has been a valuable resource for many years. However, I was disappointed in the unpolished nature of the epub version. I hope the shortcomings (e.g. Table of Contents starts at Chapter 5, headings throughout the text are not formatted properly) are corrected and a revised epub version is reissued soon.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Marjie C reviewed on Nov. 29, 2010

I love this book for so many reasons not related to consulting. I think it's a fantastic book on the secrets of effective communication, tips and tricks when trying to complete a task with another human being and on just being a better human.. I think everyone should read this book. I've given it to people in many different fields, some having nothing to do with software, consulting etc. It's a must have in any library!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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