The Path to Consulting Success: Faith, Integrity and a Desire to Help

The path to accomplishmnt begins with an unquestioned faith in God, absolute integrity and a genuine desire to help others.

There are over one million management consulting firms doing business in today’s world; many of them online.

Of all the products and services available for purchase by businesses, these consulting firms have chosen the one marketing niche, (selling advice), that is unquestionably the most difficult.

In fact, unless you are fortunate enough to be among the top six such firms, (Bain & Company, Deloitte Consulting, Accenture, McKinsey & Co, Ernst & Young, and Price Waterhouse); firms with thousands of satisfied customers and instant name recognition; accomplishment statistics are dismal.

In my view, the characteristics that can most dramatically impact and reverse this trend for burgeoning consultants, and lead their businesses on a path of sustained accomplishment, is not a quality education, early successes in life, abundant resources, unmatched determination or boundless drive, it is three much more elusive qualities: an unquestioned faith in God, absolute integrity and a genuine desire to help others.

These are the three impactful qualities that differentiate Fred Melenchuk, and his company Iongi Consulting, from his competition. They were unmistakable from our very first conversation; and they began even before he was born.

During his mother’s pregnancy with him, she was involved in an accident that fractured her spine.  The year was 1964 and then the science of neurosurgery was not what it is today.  The operation was necessary, and soon.  Dr. Kumar came to his parents with grim news – if they proceeded with the operation the baby would have less than a 5% chance of survival.  If the pregnancy went to term his mother, the parent of seven other older siblings, would be put in critical danger. She may not survive.  After much prayer, Betty emerged refreshed and feeling very confident about the operation, it’s success and, well…that the doctors were just wrong. Her son had a purpose in life and was meant to survive.  The operation proceeded, was successful and, to the doctors amazement the baby not only survived the anesthesia but went to term.

Fred’s father served in all six years of WWII for the Canadian army and was decorated five times.  He joined the military at a young age and continued to serve after the war, working to support what now was a family of ten.  He had two principles he lived by that were reinforced daily at the Melenchuk household.  The first principle was integrity. “Son, sometimes you can be asked to live without shelter or proper clothing…I lived in a foxhole in France when it was 30 below and somehow survived without adequate clothing or even enough food, at times.  There is just one thing in life that no one can take from you and that, my son, is your integrity…that you give away.”  His second principle was education.  His father never had an opportunity to gain a formal education and saw education as a privilege to not be squandered.  Needless to say, while in school, if young Fred came home with a “B” a “lecture” would ensue.

These two defining forces, a mother gifted with strong faith and endless love and a father driven deeply by integrity and a need for his children to have a strong education, formed the basis for Fred’s journey through life.

At a very young age he sets his sights on being a Neurosugeon so he could save other kids :,… just like Dr. Kumar saved me.”  He excelled in school and, while still in high school, started working in construction….he was 15. Fred continued with the company and worked his way up the ladder to Foreman and then Trainer. At 18, he enrolled in pre-med at the University of Saskatchewan and officially began running his own business.  The business went well…too well.  You see, it was a franchise that Fred was running and he was competing against over 400 other franchisee’s across Canada – people that had their business degrees or MBA’s. Fred didn’t see it as competition – he just wanted to make money for med school.  So…he was quite surprised when he received a nomination for “Manager of the Year”.    What followed was a meeting with the company president who offered Fred a General Manager position anytime he felt he was ready, in the company.  After one more year, and much soul searching, Fred accepted the offer of GM for eastern Canada and then subsequently went on to earn his MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus Universiteit, in Holland.  Fred’s first job was with Procter & Gamble in the Benelux.   He went on to run businesses for Reckitt & Coleman (French’s mustard), Nestle (Arrowhead® and Ozarka®), and Wolter’s Kluwer Health (Medi-Span® and Facts & Comparisons®).  While Fred continued to excel in business, he was frustrated by the politics involved in working for large companies and decided to accept an offer to work for a large consulting firm.  It is here where Fred really excelled as it still involved growing and scaling companies but, more importantly, Fred now feels he can make an impact on peoples lives – removing the stress of day to day operations by ensuring the right people, processes and systems are put in place so companies can achieve their true potential and the quality of life of the CEO and the employees can be improved.

In 2011, Fred opened his own consulting firm – Ionji Management Consulting that he runs together with a team he’s chosen that shares his strong faith, beliefs and values.

There is a world of difference between simply knowing the proper path and walking it.  Fortunately for Fred, his like-minded team and grateful clients, it is a short walk, when you walk with integrity.

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