Although the economic picture has improved for consulting firms, the better times won’t necessarily make his job easier. “Clients are more sophisticated from a buying standpoint,” Gutstein notes. “They better understand the importance of strategy and technology, of integration and execution. That raises the bar for consulting firms.”
The father of two boys, ages 7 and 8, Gutstein tries to spend his time outside of work with his family. With his wife, he takes the boys skiing and snowboarding. He also likes to hike, ride bicycles, and play golf and tennis. Wherever possible, he tries to combine his enjoyment of golf with his work by playing golf with clients.
Gutstein hasn’t thought about where he goes from here. “Ten years ago, I had my entire career mapped out, which I think is pretty normal for a consultant,” he says. Now he prefers to focus on the moment, which he has come to believe is the key to success. “I hope that this is not the pinnacle of my career. Whatever I do next, I hope that it will be interesting and that I’ll be able to learn something,” he says. And whatever that is, it will likely be entrepreneurial.