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Unformatted text preview: s meeting, it wouldn't be out of character for Orit to sit down and put her feet on the table,
high heels and all," says Bain managing director T om T ierney, who has known Gadiesh since 1979. "T he client might say,
'Don't you think we oughta be growing this business?' Everyone will nod. It'll be Orit who says, 'Wait. I disagree.' " Adds
T ierney: "Her style comes from this intense passion about being true to herself and the client."
Like Barksdale and Martinez, Gadiesh abhors bureaucratic doublespeak--and the unthinking conservatism it usually reflects.
She flashes her wit to kill it. A story she prefers that you not know: A few years ago she was trying to help Chrysler
executives reduce options on cars, thereby lowering costs. T he auto execs were leaning on market research to avoid tough
decisions. "We can't cut that option because our average customer wants it," they said again and again. Exasperated,
Gadiesh shot back, "Well, the average customer has one tit and one ball." T he boys from Detroit got it.
ST EP INT O ANOT HER'S SHOES. Not everybody "gets" Gadiesh. But clients, colleagues, and ex-Bainies have a
remarkably consistent view of her: She is a brilliant consultant. While her looks and nervy style get her noticed, it is her
empathy, they say, that makes her so successful. Charismatic people are able to see things from another person's
perspective. Gadiesh, who spends 70% of her time working with clients, says, "I constantly try to think, 'If I were the client,
how would I feel about this?' T hat's step No. 1 if you're going to find common ground."
Says James Morgan, CEO of Philip Morris USA, one of Bain's clients: "Orit has that talent for making you feel you're the
most important person in the room. She bleeds your blood." One way she makes clients feel important is by never looking at
her watch. Inside Bain, Gadiesh has long been regarded as a junior consultant's most generous mentor. "Orit defies
expectations because she really is not a boisterous, intimidating woman," says ex-Bainie Dan Quinn, who heads Rath &
Strong, a rival consultancy. "She's like a Jewish mother figure to many of the people at Bain."
Studies show that women tend to be better than men at stepping into another's shoes. But Barksdale proved himself to be
fairly nimble recently when hackers cracked a security code in Netscape's software. What to do? Barksdale quickly
assembled his key people. He let everyone toss out ideas about how to fix the problem and assure customers that the
company's software is safe for navigating the Net. T hen he made an odd suggestion: Give cash rewards to anyone who
finds security flaws. What? T hat's like paying a burglar to break into your home to test the alarm system. Perhaps, but as
Barksdale explained, "T hese hackers can work in our favor. T hey're experts on the Net. We'll tell 'em, 'Come on, crack our
code! ' "
featur es.blog s.for tune.cnn.com/2012/06/10/what- exactly- i...
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This note was uploaded on 04/01/2013 for the course BUSI 405 taught by Professor Blackburn during the Spring '10 term at UNC.
- Spring '10