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“Nurture your  adaptability and enthusiasm for tackling new challenges.”

Employee Spotlight - Jordan Shapiro

“Nurture your adaptability and enthusiasm for tackling new challenges.”

Meet Jordan Shapiro. As a Principal at Level5, his unique approach to leadership combines a data-driven mindset with a focus on creativity and problem-solving. With a passion for coaching and developing people, Jordan is committed to investing in his team and fostering an environment of growth and improvement.

Jordan Shapiro, Principal

Can you share with us a bit of your backstory – how long have you been with the company, what inspired you to join Level5?

I joined Level5 over four years ago, drawn by the desire for a role that could leverage my diverse background—from leadership positions at Rogers in strategy, customer experience, and data analytics, to international consulting experience with Kearney, and even earlier engineering roles on the Space Shuttle/Canadarm program. My journey before Level5 was quite the mix, allowing me to explore several different landscapes of expertise.

As I reflect back, I was seeking a smaller organization in which I could make a significant impact, driving growth and developing talent, while also pushing my own boundaries in new and exciting ways. I also wanted to be part of a team that valued its people, chased lofty ambitions, and encouraged fun – a rare find.

Finding Level5 was serendipitous, during a casual networking coffee. It quickly became clear that Level5 was the perfect fit. The firm’s foundation in areas new to me, combined with growth ambitions in areas that matched my skill set, and a team I was eager to work with, learn from, and support, solidified my decision. Level5 wasn’t just the next step; it was a purposeful leap into a community where I felt I could grow, thrive, and contribute meaningfully.

What key experiences or skills do you think have contributed most to your success in this role? Are there any key achievements or milestones you’ve reached during your time at Level5 that you feel most proud of?

On reflection, my diverse background prior to joining Level5 has allowed me to bring a few new ingredients into the mix, particularly, a more data-driven approach to shaping strategy, driving alignment around critical choices, and orchestrating cross-functional execution.

I’ve since had the privilege to lead several projects where I’ve not only been able to continue honing these skills myself, but also contribute to ‘levelling up’ our team’s capabilities.  Over the past couple of years, we’ve made significant strides in incorporating complex analytics into our strategy work, ultimately driving better outcomes for our clients, while at the same time setting new standards for how we approach these sorts of opportunities at Level5.

Considering the dynamic needs, and evolving expectations of our clients, and the increasing reliance on data, insight, and intelligence (even artificial!) in shaping strategy and driving day-to-day delivery, I’m quite proud of the progress we have, and continue to make together as a firm.

As a management consultant, how do you prioritize your own continuous learning and development?

For me, integrating learning and development into my daily routine is key. I often struggle to carve out distinct time for training, reading, or other formal development activities, usually preferring to spend free time with family and friends, pursuing personal projects, or handling other commitments.

Instead, I’ve embraced a more organic approach, seeking opportunities to learn and develop through my everyday work. I thrive on projects that challenge me and require new skills. Writing, in particular, allows me to reflect on my experiences, solidify my insights, and think creatively about enhancing our services.

I also make it a point to regularly engage with colleagues and mentors for feedback, to challenge my perspectives, and to gain new insights. This informal, yet intentional, approach to learning ensures my development is ongoing, relevant, and immediately useful.

In essence, I focus on making the most of learning opportunities inherent in the work itself, rather than viewing development as a separate activity.

You have actively taken on the role of coaching and developing our more junior employees, why do you think this is an important initiative for you?

I believe deeply in the value of coaching and developing people, a conviction rooted in my own career journey. I’ve been fortunate to have many mentors and colleagues generously share their insights and support with me over the years. Their guidance has always been instrumental in helping me navigate challenges and seize opportunities, ultimately leading me to where I am today.

My commitment also stems from a transformative experience several years back where I participated in an immersive program to become an accredited coach. This experience further opened my eyes to the profound impact effective coaching can have. It’s not just about solving immediate problems; it’s about empowering individuals to think more clearly, navigate complexities, and find their own solutions.

Now, in my current role, I’m responsible (along with my peers) for driving our business forward and supporting our clients to unlock new pathways to growth. Achieving these goals demands a team that is not only skilled but continuously evolving, thinking more innovatively, and pushing beyond the status quo. By investing in developing our team, I hope to cultivate a culture of continuous learning and improvement. This not only enhances our collective capabilities but also ensures we’re building a resilient, forward-thinking organization equipped to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

My commitment to coaching and developing our junior staff is twofold: it’s a way to pay forward the invaluable support I’ve received throughout my career and a strategic imperative to foster a culture of excellence and innovation within our team.

Is there a specific piece of feedback or constructive criticism that has helped shape your career positively? What advice would you pass along to others looking to grow their career in consulting?

One piece of advice that I was given early in my career was to avoid seeing our work as bound by rigid frameworks and processes. While foundational approaches are essential, we cannot apply the same solution to every problem and need to attack every engagement with a fresh perspective, embracing the initial ambiguity as an opportunity for creativity and problem-solving. This mindset transforms challenges into exciting puzzles to solve, making the demanding nature of consulting work both rewarding and enjoyable.

I’d pass similar advice along to others looking to grow in consulting (and outside of it, frankly) – nurture your adaptability and enthusiasm for tackling new challenges. Don’t be confined by a “we’ve always done it this way” mentality. Instead, view each project as a chance to learn something new and apply your knowledge in innovative ways. Embrace the complexity and uncertainty of each engagement; enjoy solution-finding. This approach will not only enhance your skills but also ensure you remain valuable and relevant in a constantly evolving industry.

Are there any interesting books you have read recently that you would like to share?

I’m currently reading “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World” by David Epstein and find it quite a fascinating and enjoyable read. Epstein’s point of view runs counter to conventional wisdom that early specialization is the pathway to success. He instead suggests that generalists, with their wide-ranging interests and experiences, are often more creative, agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.

He makes a powerful case for valuing diverse experiences and learning broadly. As a generalist myself, I find this perspective refreshingly different and thought-provoking, challenging prevailing notions on personal and professional development.


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