Tom and Ed had worked together at a well known national
firm. They became good friends and a natural team. Tom was
a great sales guy and Ed a well respected industry expert.
So when they quit to start their own firm no one was surprised.
After a rough couple of months they landed a flagship client
and were off to a strong start. Within a year they were
making more money than they ever had before and started
to expand by bringing on some former colleagues and friends.
New office space soon followed.
It started to become clear that Ed, although a seasoned
industry veteran, was not very good at follow-up. Soon a
critical deadline was missed. And folks who reported to
Ed began to complain about being "micro-managed."
To make matters worse, margins were shrinking, and the financial
statements always seemed to have "surprises."
The worst of these was a cash shortage that forced the partners
to use their credit cards to cover a payroll.
Things came to a head one Friday afternoon when Tom got
a call from their flagship client. They were pulling the
Once they started implementing the Secrets of America's
Most Successful Companies things began to change
quickly. Factor 4: "Manage the Process and Outcomes"
was the first to be addressed. Factor 3: "Focus on
Financials" was next.
Within six months it felt like a completely different place.
Responsibilities were reassigned, and key outcomes were
monitored and posted each week. Profitability was the highest
it had ever been (up over 50%) and financials were on time
Probably the best thing was the impact on the partners.
Ed was free to be the "guru" and his reputation
was growing each month. Tom no longer worried that if he
sold an account it might be mishandled. And the sweetest
part was that they got their flagship client back.