Top 25 Consultants 2010: Julie Diehl

Julie Diehl Julie Diehl
Managing Director, National Leader of Supply Chain Practice
Alvarez & Marsal
Excellence in Energy

As the former vice president of global strategic sourcing for Pennzoil-Quaker State, Julie Diehl can instantly put herself in her client’s shoes. That’s been one of the keys to her success.

“What’s really helped me be successful is that I’ve spent all of my career—except for the last seven, in industry. Having worked in industry, and being a former buyer of consulting, I’m very sensitive and very much aware of what I liked when I was a client. I always try to put my industry hat on when I’m serving a client. I recognize how much consultants cost and am acutely aware of the value we need to deliver,” Diehl says. “As a consultant, I want to build trust. And when I do, I get build-on work from almost every client I’ve worked for. Once you take that relationship to the level of a friendship, it’s easy to build on and on.”

She’s also keenly aware of when consulting can go wrong. “One of the worst mistakes consultants can make is to deliver some fancy report that requires a capability a client doesn’t have or is too technical.”

To prevent making these mistakes, Diehl holds weekly meetings with clients to know “if we’re not delivering at that point so we can reposition. If we wait and deliver off message, the report just collects dust. And, as a client, I know how it can just sit there and remind you how much money you wasted.”

Diehl works to make sure that her clients have every opportunity to successfully execute her advice. “We work side by side with our clients, teaching them how to fish,” she says. “When I was a buyer of consulting services, those consultants that taught my team, so we could execute on our own, were always first in mind on future work.”

Diehl’s desire to help others succeed carries over internally, too. She has twice been recognized as Alvarez & Marsal’s Mentor of the Year, the only professional in the firm to earn this award more than once.

“My focus is helping people succeed. There are few women managing directors, so a lot of more junior women ask me how to balance work and personal life.”

—Jess Scheer

>> Full list of Top 25 Consultants 2010

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