One of the most popular courses at Managing Partner Bootcamp is a session I do on practical techniques managing partners can implement proactively. It’s a potpourri of the best decisions and worst mistakes I made, what worked and what didn’t in my almost 30 years as a firm managing partner. I call it Tricks and Tips.

In 2019, I’ve decided to present a selection of the Tricks and Tips that I’ve discussed since the inception of MPB. One of the biggest issues managing partners having to reactively manage problems as they arise. These are ideas MPs can apply in their firms to make a positive impact.


In the 1980s, one of the finest firms in Cleveland, if not the country, was Kopperman & Wolff. By 1989, the firm lost its largest client which represented 1/3 of its business. After the 1990 tax season, to offset the lost business, it let go 14 professionals. Among this group were some extremely talented accountants. SS&G interviewed all 14, hired 5, and needed 0. When SS&G merged with BDO 24 years later, 4 were still with the firm as partners (one had left years before to raise her family).

The lesson here is that when exceptional talent Is available, don’t look at the economics. You may not have an immediate need, but you will. And when you do, the chances of your finding talent at a superior level will most likely not be as readily available.