The Top 25 Consultants, 2012: Stuart Jackson

Stuart Jackson, President, L.E.K. Consulting Stuart Jackson
L.E.K. Consulting
Excellent in Leadership

It doesn’t take very long to realize that L.E.K. Consulting, and particularly Stuart Jackson, do things a little bit differently. For starters, to balance client demands and the needs of the five North American offices and 400 staff, Stuart maximizes his productivity by flying in his own business jet to client engagements.

The way he figures it: Using his own aircraft saves him about 300 hours in a typical year.

Indeed, effective time management is one of the things that sets Jackson apart. He likes to tell this story: “Way back when I was a junior consultant, my nickname in the office was ‘Stuart 9-to-5 Jackson.’ My actual hours were never quite that efficient but nevertheless, I did often find myself working a lot less than many in our industry.”

“One of my early mentors at L.E.K. was Richard Koch, author of The 80/20 Principle. The idea is that 80 percent of the results or value we generate comes from only 20 percent of our effort. Admittedly, we can’t always know which activities will yield the best outcomes, but I do believe that relentlessly prioritizing and questioning the value of what we are doing is something we should all do more of,” he says.

That type of out-of-the-box thinking and exceptional client service has led L.E.K. and Jackson to new heights. Jackson, who has been with the firm for more than 28 years serving in the London, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago offices, took over as President of the North American practice in January. In that role, he is responsible for directing the firm’s overall strategy and operations. And under his leadership, the firm has been humming, Stuart says.

“We continued to gain share and raise our profile, opening new state of the art offices in Boston and New York, and delivering on a series of high-profile engagements for our clients, including several who have committed to multi-year retainer relationships,” he says. “I love winning new business.”

Despite his leadership position, Jackson will remain in a client-facing role. “I feel driven to delight clients by exceeding their expectations,” he says. “In the end, I am motivated to really get to the best possible outcome for the client’s business.

Jackson, author of the book Where Value Hides: A New Way to Uncover Profitable Growth for Your Business , is also member of L.E.K.’s North America Regional Management Committee and Global Leadership Team.

Q&A: What’s the biggest factor to your success?
“I love my work and I believe much of my success comes from that. I love the people I work with and the problems we get to help solve. I believe my clients and my co-workers appreciate that energy and enthusiasm. I also love the lifestyle that my work enables me to enjoy, something consultants at many other firms struggle with, I think.”