2008 Lifetime Achievement Award: Jeanie Daniel Duck

Jeanie Daniel Duck There’s a theme, says Jeanie Daniel Duck, in her life that goes like this: Everything she’s done in her career is by accident. “If I tried to do things in the traditional way,” says Duck, a soon-to-be-retired senior partner at The Boston Consulting Group, “I don’t think any of it would have worked out the way it did.” For starters, Duck says, she never expected that she’d be in business in the first place. “I thought I would graduate school one day, get married the next and live happily ever after,” she says. Well, it didn’t work out that way.

Today, Duck is one of the profession’s most accomplished women with more than 30 years’ experience in change management and more than 20 years with BCG. She is also a best-selling author, and her 2001 book The Change Monster has been translated into nine languages and is still widely read and used by global corporations and nonprofits. Her 1993 Harvard Business Review article “Managing Change: The Art of Balancing” has been included in every HBR edition on change. And in 2002, she was named one of Consulting ‘s Top 25 Consultants.

But the road to BCG and a Lifetime Achievement Award wasn’t always straight and narrow. It was, as she likes to say, an accident. “When I decided to become a consultant, it really was just a flying leap into oblivion,” Duck says. “It was just launching myself without knowing what I was doing. What I did know was that I was a very good speaker, and I knew that I could hold an audience. So, I figured that was good start.”

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