What is professional services?
I'm always humbled by the praise our company receives. Some go so far as to say we're brilliant, and while that's very nice to hear, brilliant is a very high bar to set. We are, I think, some of the smartest people you'll find that let you take all the credit. We think this humility is what it means to be a professional services company, and this selfless mantra is the key to what makes OmniTI the best web company you've never heard of.
Ben Laurie is one of my dear friends and colleagues in open source. He both commands and deserves a tremendous amount of respect. Ben introduced me to one of my favorite quotes:
"It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn't matter who gets the credit."-- Harry S. Truman.
When I first heard that, I liked it. After many years of stewing on it, I love it. It embodies what it means to be a truly valuable professional consultant. Sure enough, it also embodies what it means to be a good citizen. Forget the blame, forget the credit... focus on teamwork and bring progress and success.
As a professional services firm, it is your profession to service others. Servicing others isn't always glamorous, it isn't always exciting (though I find it remarkably stimulating), and it certainly doesn't put you directly in the limelight. The point of it all is to enable another to succeed. It is your goal, it is your mission and, if you want to be good, it has to be your passion too. The one thing that is often missing in all of this is credit.
Perhaps that is one thing that I've come to accept after many years in the pro-services industry. If you do your job well, you know that you are essential to the success of your clients and you can be proud of the work you do for them. You aren't in the limelight because, at the end of the day, your goal is to put your clients in the limelight.
Good clients however (and so many of OmniTI's clients are just spectacular) will always act as a reference and share how essential you were to their success. I've spent a long time building OmniTI and OmniTI is truly its people. It is the people that deliver the services, that help the clients, that solve the problems. These people are smart and dedicated. To me, completing the job and earning the respect of the colleague sitting next to me in the trenches is deeply satisfying.
That is a job well done.