A Better Roadmap for Strategic Lateral Pursuits

Strategic planning involves identifying specific goals and defining the action steps necessary to realize those goals. The squishier the goals (a lofty business term, I know) the more difficult it is to map goal-oriented actions. This approach to planning a critical initiative had better come with a hefty dose of luck.

Yet, every year law firms double down on the pursuit of partner-level additions to their ranks by employing a strategy that struggles to realize goals on any level, let alone actually adding long term productive partners. 

Based on data on partner moves between law firms, the conventional approach to lateral pursuits barely qualifies as squishy. Consider these points from research cited in a 2019 piece from American Lawyer.

  • In the 5 year period 2014-2018, there were almost 9,000 lateral moves made within Am Law 200 firms.
  • 97% of Am Law 200 firms reported some level of lateral activity.
  • More than half of the firms averaged at least one lateral every two months — 6 per year — and twenty-five percent averaged at least one per month. This is the equivalent of a firm completing one sizable acquisition every year.

What’s the payoff?

    • 24% of lateral partner hires leave within 3 years.
    • Within 5 years, nearly 50% depart.
    • Two-thirds of lateral partner hires fail to produce even 75% of the expected “book.”

The takeaway? Poor lateral hiring pursuits are costing law firms — especially when you consider that most laterals don’t reach a break-even point for 9 months following a change in firms. And this doesn’t begin to factor the real costs related to integration and long term impact on culture.

A More Complete Strategy

Solving the lateral acquisition puzzle in a way that delivers on the goal of profitable and lasting growth involves combining four related pieces. (See Figure 1).

Figure 1

  • Market Intelligence — this includes an exploration of opportunities to expand service to existing clients, an understanding of the competitive landscape, market and practice trends, emerging industries, gaps in existing service and anticipated changes of consequence coming to the market.
  • Strategic Alignment — a smart lateral pursuit includes a profile of the ideal target that aligns with (1) market intelligence and (2) the firm’s stated goals for growth.
  • Cultural Compatibility — the inclusion, prioritization or elimination of possible lateral targets should hinge on the degree to which a candidate shares the firm’s core values and vision.
  • Economics — this is about ensuring that all costs related to acquisition, as well as the projected profitability of a candidate are consistent with the firm’s economic model. (And for the record, push hard on claims of portable business.)

A Productive Pursuit Plan

The four pieces noted above provide the cornerstones for a pursuit. But when it comes to the action steps necessary for the identification of top tier candidates, every aspect of a search should be informed by the fabric of the current partnership. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2

A robust strategic search has four parts:

  • Direct relationships — recognizing the critical nature of a cultural fit, a conversation about adding partners should begin with a comprehensive inventory of connections who share the firm’s core values.
  • A map of referral sources — this is about widening the net, and turning those who are connected to lateral candidates fitting your profile into pursuit allies.
  • Key Client input — communication with clients — and especially client feedback programs — can help identify potential laterals.
  • Recruiting professionals — equip recruiters with a strategic profile of the candidates you seek, rooted in core values and specifics related to growth objectives.

For firms ready to bring these pieces to the lateral pursuit puzzle, this will streamline the search, put you face-to-face with a higher number of candidates aligned with your goals, and dramatically reduce the high rate of turnover that costs in terms of dollars, time and cultural disruption.

Far from squishy, this approach is indicative of cultural maturity and will result in lateral additions that strengthen the fabric of a vibrant partnership.

(If you’d like a free copy of our Lateral Scorecard — a tool to help gauge how strategic a lateral candidate might be — use the contact tab above and simply put “Lateral Scorecard” in the message box. Or shoot me a request by email — eric@ericfletcherconsulting.com.)

7 Tips For Professionals On Maintaining Visibility And Nurturing Relationships With Prospects

Anyone building a professional service practice appreciates the value of relationships. A portfolio of dynamic connections is what fills a pipeline with new leads, referral sources and recurring engagements.

But staying in touch — creating and maintaining the kind of visibility that places you in the right place at the right time — can be a challenge.

How do we maintain visibility, seed conversations and build relationships with a portfolio of contacts in a strategic way…without adopting a communication approach rooted in a numbers-game?

A Framework For A Communication Calendar

If “regular” communication consists of an occasion-driven outreach like a holiday greeting or an annual event, it is doubtful you’re building any relational equity. Meanwhile, the competitive landscape is conspiring to supplant any ground you might be gaining.

This is why an essential piece of your marketing and business development plan should be a proactive communication calendar. And because relationships are built through a series of meaningful encounters, think in terms of a minimum of six to nine outreaches over a twelve month period.

Because we know this can feel like a lot, here are 7 tips designed to jumpstart your calendar. 

1. Make the most of the content you create.

If you’re a blogger, a podcaster or even create content on an every-once-in-a-while basis, personally share this content with your relationship portfolio. Don’t rely on a platform to create awareness and visibility. Take one more step: use your content to create personalized, individual contact. Extra work? Sure. But if you’re creating valuable content and then just hoping your best connections catch wind of it, you are losing leverage. Add outreach via the content you create to your calendar. (And if you don’t regularly create valuable content, this might be a reason to consider the idea.)

2. Personally share content created by your firm.

Only sharing your stuff? Why? If you are part of a firm, here’s hoping you believe your partners and colleagues bring value to the table. Cherry-pick content created by others with an eye on what your connections will find helpful. This does more than just maintain visibility; it compounds the value you offer.

I am always amazed when there are discussions on cross selling or hunting in packs, but no focus on cross-sharing valuable content on a regular basis. And if you’re a solo practitioner, consider sharing perspectives and research produced by respected sources and allies. This increases the value of a connection with you.

3. Ask for input.

Asking for someone’s opinion or advice is an easy way to instigate dialogue. Consider building around this idea once or twice a year and you’ll change the conversation with key relationships. Seek input around desired service offerings. “What do you wish someone was providing?” “Is there a specific topic you’d like to see us address?” Go one step further and invite top prospects to collaborate in creating content or conducting marketing research.Or ask for input around causes worthy of support. With a select few, craft a request for thoughts on how best to connect with an organization, group or industry. Asking in the right way is potent.

4. Provide unique access.

Where you or someone in your firm has (or can facilitate) unusual access to information, personality or an event, share this access with your relationship portfolio. Are you able to interview a local author about their latest book (yes…even when it has nothing to do with your practice)? Create and share a video or audio “closed circuit program” with your relationship portfolio. Have early access to market research? Diatribe an early edition to your connections. Deliver something of unquestioned value, and deepen the relationship.

Sidebar: firms often spend big bucks on speakers for partner retreats; plan to videotape a 15-minute conversation with your expert on topics like unconscious bias, and share this content with your connections.

5. Don’t forget the easy stuff. Remember personal occasions.

This is low-hanging fruit…and it might cover two or three outreaches over a year…including birthday and/or anniversary wishes, promotions or career moves and any consequential event. Consider bypassing the easy email (and inbox clutter), and send a personal hand-written note for added impact.

6. Industry news. If you want to communicate sincere interest in someone’s fortunes, let them know you’re aware of and alert to things that impact their industry. Regulatory moves or early indicators, national trends, and major shake-ups at competitors provide a natural bridge to an “I thought of you when this popped up in my inbox” note. 

7. For clients, plan a twice-a-year “how are we doing” outreach.

If you’re not regularly opening the door to constructive dialogue with existing or recent clients, you’re missing opportunities. Schedule a twice yearly outreach. To maximize this outreach, ask your clients to provide candid feedback to a third party. Done right, this effort will inevitably reveal specific ways to deepen your relationship.

This is far from an exhaustive list. It is offered primarily as an idea starter. The point is straightforward.

  • Business development is about building and nurturing relationships.
  • Communication is the fabric of relationship.
  • If you are not proactively communicating in a strategic way, you are not deepening relationships.

A Final Note On Marketing Automation

The quest for leverage and the fact that communication is not easy have combined to result in turning to systems and technology to maximize outreach. And make no mistake…marketing technology plays an important role in creating visibility, deepening brand equity and lead generation.

But if you’re looking for ways to build the kind of personal relationships that result in trusted advisor status, be prepared to be personally involved. Tend to your relationship portfolio by building a strategic communication calendar. 

The Trick To Strategic Planning For 2021

Leaders face a tall task in planning for 2021. With hopeful light at what appears to be  the end of the Covid-19 tunnel, it’s going to be tempting to try to make up for traction lost in 2020 in an effort to get back to “normal.”

This temptation is likely to result in multiple “strategic” projects and extra-long to-do-lists.

And here’s the challenge: absent alignment around a single mission, you’re unlikely to make up any lost ground…much less, make progress on new strategic initiatives.

Meanwhile, Focus Wins

In an article for Fast Company written in conjunction with the publication of his best seller Good To Great, Jim Collins put it this way.

The real path to greatness, it turns out, requires simplicity and diligence. It requires clarity, not instant illumination. It demands each of us to focus on what is vital. — Jim Collins

At least part of the problem with many plans is that most of us — firms and individuals — simply aren’t great at multitasking on a strategic level. In his Life of Productivity blog, Chris Bailey points to the science indicating that it is difficult for the brain to focus on two tasks at once—it’s actually rapidly switching between them.

And though this is about an individual brain, experience indicates that you can say the same about the collective firm brain.

When the objectives of multiple efforts inevitably appear at times to be at odds, misalignment impacts decisions, actions and progress.

At the enterprise level, Collins points to focus as the key to greatness. Not just focus on anything; but focus on what is vital.

Especially in challenging times, this is about a laser focus on mission and core values. This focus provides a framework for every decision and the guiding principles that comprise a roadmap.

Leaders who invest time here are in a position to gaze into 2021 with clear eyes…and inspire the creation of a successful plan of action.

In his blog post last week, my friend Roger Hayse has this suggestion for law firm leaders:

…spend some time really wrestling with this question: “What one thing, if accomplished in 2021, will leave us a healthier, happier firm — better positioned to compete in the new year and beyond?”

Solid advice for leaders at every level — and not a bad exercise for individual professional service providers working on a plan for the months ahead.

My personal bias is that the one thing begins with crystal clarity around mission, vision and core values. Nailing this provides a framework for every strategic pursuit, and fosters the alignment of greatness.

What Do We Value Most?

PLEASE NOTE — Fair warning — this is an opinion post. The intent, as always, is to offer fodder for productive conversation; it is, however, less about business development, marketing and communication, and much more about what we value. As always, I am indebted to you for your time and interest. — EF

It is one thing to subscribe to a position because of a belief in alignment with deeply held values. Or to adopt a platform based on affinity for a cause. Or even to advocate based on an assumption that historical roots run deeper than individual predilections.

On any of these grounds, there can be a thesis and a set of guiding principles around which we could have disagreement and debate.

Remember honest debates?

Once upon a time we were able to hold opposing views, vehemently argue considered merits, and — even where there was no common ground — afford mutual respect.

There are exceptions, to be sure. We haven’t always done it well; but for the most part there used to be agreement that human decency is admirable…a characteristic worthy of pursuit.

There have always been issues viewed as critical by some and trivial by others. But there was a time when we could engage in spirited efforts to change minds…have heated conversations…fiercely disagree…without personal and lasting venom.

Those days are gone.

Today the disagreements are different.

When there is such little regard for truth that alternative facts are easily adopted…when branding a moment is so all-consuming that we lose sight of implications for tomorrow, we are no longer engaged in honest political discourse.

We should stop pretending we are.

When name-calling and finger-pointing are the hallmarks of interaction, we should admit that the conversation isn’t about framing a solution.

When words and actions precipitate division and animosity, it is impossible to believe unity is the objective.

And when thoughtful discourse on issue and policy devolves into a playground-style mocking of physical appearance or (unbelievably) a person’s handicap for the sake of attention and applause, this is no longer a discussion of the viability of neighborhoods, the safety of communities or economic strength.

Every issue is not of equal import. Some are existential.

At least one of the questions each of us must eventually answer for ourself is what do I value most.

Here’s What Drives A Prospect’s Choice of Service Provider

In a noisy, competitive and topsy-turvy marketplace, what is the key to capturing the imagination of your most coveted prospects?

We know it isn’t the case, but particularly in professional services, it is easy to market as though we believe it is our credentials…Or brand…Or budget…Or eloquence that will differentiate us from every other advisor hoping to land the gig.

Meanwhile, the market repeatedly suggests that we get over ourselves, revealing what drives the decision to engage one professional over another. Follow the advice in this video short from the BizDev Notebook, and grab the attention of the market you pursue.

(And if you’re searching for a way to gain traction in a market none of us saw coming, request info on the all new BizDev Notebook — eric@ericfletcherconsulting.com.)

We Can Do Impossible Things

In the summer of 1969, with less technology than what exists in the device you’ll use to share today’s social media tidbits, human beings flew to the moon.

We’re so desensitized to the fact of the matter, that the impossibility of the idea in the 1960’s, not to mention the price that would be paid, is lost on us.

This post is about today — not history — but imagine it for a minute.  They flew to the moon!

Before that, there were two brothers at Kitty Hawk who believed something could be built that would enable human beings to fly. Then there were those who chased the speed of sound. And, oh yeah, those early astronauts who willingly climbed into little more than a tin can to test the bounds of earth.

Along the way there were tangents, miscalculations and tragedies, to be sure. But even in the face of unthinkable loss, the impossible pursuits were not deterred.

It’s Not The Size Of The Stage

I’m a sucker for the drama and scope of these pursuits. If you are of a certain age, the afternoon of July 20, 1969 is likely one of those times that is etched in your memory. In mass we were mesmerized by grainy images from a stage 239,000 miles away.

But let’s talk about where we are today.

Every single day, everyday women, men and children pursue what can feel every bit as impossible as a moon-shot.

From educating a child in our current environment to righting unspeakable wrongs…from surviving a pandemic to wrestling with depression for one more hour…from keeping the lights on to feeding those with nothing to eat and no lights to go home to…these days it can feel like 2020 ushered in an endless list of impossibles..

It Isn’t What It Is

You name the challenge (or opportunity) — progress begins with imagining what might be.

Nothing stops progress more quickly than resolving that there is no solution…no answer…no better way…no way to heal…that what we have is what we’re stuck with.

If we can envision what might be, we can begin a productive journey. We can begin to have better conversations.

But Mark it down — we will never progress beyond what we are able to imagine.

When President Kennedy spoke of putting a man on the moon, he reasoned “we choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills…”.

No matter where we find ourselves on this day, whatever the venue, if we are able to imagine what might be possible, we have a benchmark for “the best of our energies.”

We can do this. We can do hard things.

A 4-Step BizDev Plan For The Last 4 Months of This Year

The life expectancy of “no-one-saw-this-coming” as an explanation for stalled business development is going to run out soon. Or at least, wear thin.

So for everyone who still has a practice to grow, here is a 4-step plan for the last 4 months of a year none of us saw coming. Buckle up…we’ll make it a speed round (because time is wasting).

Step One — Quick — Name 4 Prospective Clients

Don’t be conservative here — identify four prospects you’d give your eye teeth to engage. As you consider the companies or individuals that should be on your list, suspend disbelief. Avoid taking inventory of all the reasons you feel a working relationship is unlikely. You know — they’ve used another firm for years…they’re too big, too demanding, too something. 

Refuse to let the devils you think you know define your future. A good list should contain at least one audacious goal — a prospect that, by itself, will change your world.

If you have more than four, great; but limit your first pass at this to the top four. Go for quality over quantity.

Step Two — Start Connecting Dots

Using your favorite thinking/planning/brainstorming tool — legal pad, post-it notes, whiteboard or electronic device — create a 3-part list for each of your four targets.

    • On Part One — name the relevant decision-makers that you have a personal connection with (any connection — don’t second-guess)
    • On Part Two — include the names of other individuals you know, who are connected (in any way) to the target’s  decision-maker
    • On Part Three — list the names of individuals with whom you have no personal connection, but who you believe to be connected to the target’s decision-maker

This three-part list for each target is the skeleton of a relationship map, and these names will become the focus of the next two steps…more specifically, the focus of your attention for the balance of 2020.

Step Three — Reach Out and Touch Someone

Create an initial personalized communication for each name on your four relationship maps. The purpose of this communication is to deliver something of undisputed value to the recipient.

And on that note, I can sense I am beginning to lose you.

If you’re 100% okay with what you believe the future holds for your practice (or your firm), I get the skepticism, and you should blow-off the remaining few paragraphs.

But if you’re sensing the necessity of a significant shift in the way you go about business development, let’s press on.

Let’s stipulate that “personalized communication that delivers undisputed value” can be a stumbling block. In the best case scenario it implies research and understanding. For purposes of this post, here’s an idea starter.

Consider what you know to be top-of-mind for your target. If you’re right, this is at the center of what drives critical decisions — and, just in case we need to say it, a critical decision is what you’re after.

Have you created or do you have access to thought leadership or insights that relate to your target’s decision-driver? Think about blog posts, market research, industry white papers and the like.

If this continues to be a problematic idea, there is no easy way to say this — you probably need to spend some time doing market research and thinking through your marketing strategy. (If your firm has a strong marketing team, they are already primed and ready to help with this.)

Create this kind of personal communication for each name on your four relationship maps, and you have a disruptive business development tool in your hands.

By its very nature this communicque speaks to what a working relationship with you will be like — characterized by a focus on the challenges and opportunities of your targets.

And now we’re ready for the fourth step in the plan.

Step Four — Instigate Collaboration

Here’s the suggestion.

Invite your targets to a non-commercial New Now Round Table. (Create your own moniker, or borrow this one if it works for you.)

Your invitation and the way in which you describe your round table will vary based on what will resonate with your targets; but the idea is to stage and facilitate a series of conversations that address the realities of the market in which we find ourselves.

For at least as long as Zoom is the primary venue for connecting, please consider bringing in a skilled facilitator. This will set the right tone, and make the best of the technology tools (and there are some cool tools out there that can make your round table transcend Zoom-fatigue), and instigate a conversation where two things happen:

    • Organic conversations will focus on your target’s pressing issues
    • You will become identified as the advisor who facilitated new conversations, and a focus on new solutions

While it is a straight forward plan, we do not suggest that execution will be easy. It will require that you lean in, shake-up the way you might think about pursuing new clients and resist distractions.

If you’ll focus on these four ideas for the next four months — sure…you’ll need to tweak them and personalize them to fit your reality — but use these four steps as a guide, and you’ll find yourself in position to reclaim the momentum you had way back in January.

Glazed Over Eyes Don’t Count As Impressions

This post was originally published by CMO-Whisperer.com.

I admit it — I’m teetering on the edge of stir crazy. Some days it doesn’t take much to push me over the edge. But— and I’m about to insult some very good seventh grade writers — an avalanche of middle-school-level headlines attempting to capture my attention have set me on edge.

And before my journalist friends climb up on a high horse to proclaim they always knew advertising would kill good writing, I should note that (today) big time news outlets are the offenders.

Yes Lois, succumbing to one of the ultimate lies of our time (maybe a tiny bit of overstatement), no less than the bastions of major media outlets are resorting to clickbait.

For a couple of weeks running, it seems every “breaking news” alert sent to my smart phone by one of our esteemed national news giants has followed this style guide:

This {personal characterization} said {provocative statement}
about her time at/with {recognized entity/individual}.

It is more than a little disconcerting that someone disciplined and skilled enough to rise to an editor’s desk has bought into the idea that a half-baked tease — and that’s being generous— is the way to attract an audience. Never mind, communicate the news. Perry White has to be cringing.

But accountability is a harsh mistress.

Most of us learn to take with a grain of salt — even ignore — those beeping or vibrating alerts from our phones.

Our Response to Noise

However, since this is not about the current state of delivering the news, but about connecting via marketing — I should get to the point: glazed over eyeballs do not equal impressions. In fact, they (the eyeballs we’re talking about here) are irrelevant.

I get it. The challenge to grab attention is daunting. Rising above the noise of thousands of competing messages every day isn’t easy. Finding common ground and speaking the same language is tough enough one-on-one in a quiet room.

But clickbait? Seriously?

Maybe it is rooted in some distorted version of a lowest-common-denominator strategy; but it is a far cry from the creative acumen that attracted many of us to the art, and that has reshaped entire markets with a single campaign.

The slight-of-phrase that is offered in pursuit of nothing more than a click— I would (humbly) submit that this is not creative spark.

And while I will, reluctantly, concede that clickbait might at times qualify as marketing, it is decidedly not communication. Or genius.

A couple of decades ago, when blogging was far from a staple in B-to-B marketing, I worked with a group of lawyers using this new tool. Daily clicks on the firm blog became the be-all-end-all metric. So much so that the blog’s editors found a way to include the phrase “wet t-shirt contest.” in one day’s headline.

The metric might have made me blush.

But — you’re way ahead of me, I know — virtually every click was irrelevant…staying on the blog for less than 3-seconds.

Great marketing — the stuff to which I believe we all aspire…the stuff that connects, motivates and prompts consequential reality shifts— isn’t interested in irrelevant eyeballs. It takes aim at the heart.

That’s a calling worthy of some serious genius.

A Marketer and a Salesperson Walk Into a Bar…

This post was originally written for and published by CMO-Whisperer.com.

Even if you aren’t familiar with the setup, you know this is a joke. Marketing and sales can barely stand to be in the same conference room on some days. No way they’re going to drop into a happy hour together. Even if it’s virtually, via Zoom.

Here’s the punchline: While marketing and sales squabble over resources, debate who should be held responsible and who should get credit, the leverage and growth to be gained in alignment is lost.

And that’s no joke. 

Memories of a Garage Startup

If you have an aspirational bone in your body you’ve been inspired by at least one story of an entrepreneur who, sequestered (voluntarily) in a garage with little more than duct tape and tenacity, gave birth to a thriving business.

You may have been in one of those garages. Or it might have been in a corner of the attic. Or at the kitchen table.

Wherever the work was done, the startup success stories I know of have one thing in common: lines between departments rarely exist. One day the spare bedroom was the CFO office. The next it belonged to the IT guru. (Same person…just a different hat.)

And everyone was in marketing and sales.

In those up-from-nothing ventures the short-term objective was singular — to survive. Whatever it took.

Because there was a vision for the long term.

A distinction between telling the brand story and closing a sales pitchdidn’t rear its ugly head until someone actually put together enough presentations, stirred up enough leads and closed enough pitches to make the company grow.

Enter silos — disguised as progress, and in the name of leverage.

That’s when we stopped walking into that bar together.

Don Quixote Rides Again

I recognize that in most quarters this is an exercise in tilting at windmills. But what might happen if we did away with the departments.

{pause for audible gasp}

What if we were back in the garage…or at the kitchen table…driven not by how many clicks we generate or how many calls we squeeze into a day; but aligned around a singular vision — prepared to do whatever it takes.

And since I’m already on this limb, I’ll inch a bit further out.

If our blink response to this fanciful idea is that the complexities of a full-blown business render the entrepreneurial model obsolete, we’ve landed on the real reason we often seem to be pulling in different directions.

The vision is unclear. Or missing. Success is measured in snippets.

We can debate metrics if you are inclined, but here’s what happens: When our focus is disproportionately on short term measures, realizing these measures becomes the mission.

But, for example, when the measure of accomplishment is an intentional click by a viable prospect because engaging the right prospect puts us one step closer to an ultimate goal… marketing and sales are no longer separate departments.

We are aligned as co-conspirators engaged in a singular pursuit.

And come on, after a day of scheming around how to get out of the garage and take over the market, co-conspirators will happily walk into a bar… together. And politely disagree over who buys the next round.

In Memory of a Leader

Patrick Mitchell had a profound impact on my life, as he did on many. And I’m certain he would be surprised, or at least downplay any such idea. He was simply going about life treating those he encountered with respect, kindness and gentleness.

Though he was accustomed to position and title, these did not shape his personality, perspective or the manner in which he chose to interact in the world.

He was an honest-to-goodness leader. Not because he had the podium or possessed the authority to call one in on the carpet. But because he listened, sought to understand, and genuinely cared about those with whom he worked. 

Pat did not believe his successes or position made him better than anyone.

Twenty-one years ago I was a new member of the marketing team at the law firm of Jenkens & Gilchrist, and Pat held one of his many positions in firm leadership. I first met him during an event where the marketing group was responsible for planning and executing. And in a setting where my function was to be at his service, he sought me out. He wanted to hear my story — for no reason other than that was who he was.

A few years later, working on a pursuit with a team of lawyers of which Pat was one, I made a noticeable and significant mistake — one I feared would damage my ability to work with the team. Pat was quick to provide appropriate support, to the point of taking responsibility for the error himself. This forever impacted the way I would interact with others in the wake of mistakes.

I was privileged to collaborate with him for seven years…including a lengthy season of crisis that tested the spirit and integrity of many. Pat never changed.

On the day the law firm closed, after leading an initiative that resulted in virtually everyone in the AmLaw 100 firm finding a new work home, Pat spent the afternoon deflecting any credit, and saying thanks to others. 

Pat Mitchell passed from this life earlier this week.

He was one of the best men I’ve had the opportunity to work with. I am certain I am not the only one who is honored to say that his example continues to make me a better colleague and friend.

My heart breaks for his family. Peace.