In 1999, the partners at SS&G made a decision to have me reduce and eventually eliminate my client load. The ultimate goal was for me to dedicate my time entirely to one client: SS&G. The logic it followed was that it would enable me to lead to lead via planning, strategy, and execution.
When we made the decision, we were a $12M firm. When we sold the firm 15 years later, we were approaching $100M in revenue.
As I reflect on my tenure at SS&G, it’s clear that this kind of success could not have occurred otherwise. I took a bigger interest in the firm’s ancillary services, was entrenched in the internal departments (HR, IT, Marketing), invested in our relationships with top referral sources and marquis clients, served as the “face” of the firm, and understood every element of what made us operate.
Without the time granted me as a result of that decision, the time to dedicate, and the space to focus on only the firm’s growth, I couldn’t have led in those capacities.
Today, I often hear managing partners boasting about how many charge hours they have and I think to myself, “What a waste of talent.”