Adam Gutstein of DiamondCluster

If Adam Gutstein, president of DiamondCluster International and managing partner of its European and Latin American operations, were just a few inches taller, he might have pursued his high school dream of playing basketball in the NBA.

Consulting Magazine | May 02, 2005

Adam Gutstein"Most of my peers don't know me. This honor really reflects the success of our firm and the people we have here," says Gutstein, who sincerely believes that "pound for pound, we have the best people." Studies the firm conducted, he believes, confirm his faith in his people: "When we lose business, it's usually because we didn't have the right capabilities. When we win, clients say it is because of our people." Gutstein is widely credited with engineering the turnaround of Diamond, which has experienced two consecutive years of profitable growth despite very difficult market conditions. In addition, he was instrumental in steering the firm into new, noncyclical areas, such as healthcare, utilities, and the public sector, and expanding the firm's geographical reach into the Mideast through a new office in Dubai. He also is involved in planning the firm's next office, which will be in India. In addition to his responsibilities for managing the firm, Gutstein, like all of Diamond's top executives, also takes on direct client responsibilities.

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.

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