September 29, 2020

Lee Moore leads Accenture’s Midwest business

Lee Moore, 50, is a senior managing director at Accenture and leader of its business in the Midwest, which includes 11,000 people in 14 states. He’s been at the consulting firm 28 years and is a member of its global management committee. Moore lives in River North with his wife and two daughters, ages 11 and 16.

You took over March 1, just as COVID was really unfolding. Trial by fire, right?

Ten days in, we were all virtual. It’s a really interesting way to create an amazingly strong team very, very quickly. Ordinarily you’d have these challenges over a three-year window, not three months.

How has it changed your priorities?

It’s essential to increase frequency of communication with the senior team. I have an authentic, “I am who I am” leadership style. I tell people it’s OK to raise their hands, speak up and to not be happy all the time. People have got real challenges. Talent will migrate after this all finishes if you don’t look after your people.

Where did you grow up?

Just west of London. Mom was an accounts clerk. Dad delivered milk door to door. I went to the Royal Grammar School. In hindsight, it was the most amazing trajectory change in my life.

What did you do before you got into tech?

I was a plumber, worked in a fruit and vegetable market, dug holes in roads. I did all sorts of jobs along the way. The one that gave me the best insight: As a paperboy, I took one of the first computers—a Sinclair ZX80, way before PCs—and I used it to digitize my paper’s ordering, record-keeping and billing. My interest in tech started back then. I was in school at 6 a.m. to use the computers. I would stay late at night building games or utilities. In the U.K., you choose a very specific course in college. I chose math and computation science. In my final year, I used Disney’s Pixar computers to process and analyze online imaging of breast X-rays. I saw pretty early on the ways you could use technology.

What do you like most about Chicago?

I’m a massive music fan. The whole family has gone to Lollapalooza every year.

What got you interested in music?

I’m only 5-foot-8, but at university I was a security guard for music concerts. I saw loads of amazing bands. I have a collection of ’80s and ’90s rock and pop T-shirts. Today I’ve got the Smiths T-shirt on. In this whole virtual world, you’ve got to accentuate your authenticity.

If you weren’t a consultant, what would you do for a living?

I’d be the Tour de France-winning cyclist or a Formula One driver. I’m an avid armchair Formula One fan.

Most cherished possession?

A C60 carbon road bike, designed by Ernesto Colnago. My grandfather left me some money. I spent it all on this bike. It’s beautiful.

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