Some things I’m thinking about right now

Feb 21, 2017

At nearly 59, I don’t sleep so well. My mind doesn’t shut off. So much to think about. Here’s some of what is keeping me awake right now:

  1. You have to get the right people in the right roles. This may create some stress or ruffle some feathers – especially if you end up with older people reporting to younger people. But you have to do it. And always try to promote from within whenever possible! Go outside every time you need a manager and you will kill morale.
  2. If you want a truly sustainable organization that provides real opportunities for its people you have to make sure everyone has their successor identified. The “number twos” are so critical! They will free your managers to move on to their highest and best use and will ensure continuity in case something happens to someone.
  3. The quality of your client relationships is directly related to two things – how accessible you are and how much time you spend talking with them (not emailing or texting). This is a huge and growing problem today. Human interaction is being replaced by written words. They cannot express the same thing as an actual conversation – be that face-to-face or over the phone. Without that other interaction, you won’t have relationships that help you go on after major mistakes are made or fend off attacks from competitors. This is so important – it cannot be overemphasized today.
  4. You CAN make things happen – get much better results – IF you are truly willing to put in the effort it takes. Nothing good comes without hard work. Everyone seems to think everything should be easy. It won’t be. And if it is, watch out. You’ll soon have many competitors.
  5. Your success in everything is in large part due to your creativity. Throw out your old proposal boilerplate and presentation templates. Come up with an all new scope of services and deliverables. Approach everything differently!
  6. There are ALWAYS costs you can cut – ALWAYS. Look for people who aren’t doing anything. Look at unneeded assets to sell. Look at your long-term relationships with attorneys, accountants, insurance brokers, subconsultants, and more. Sometimes people who do business with you take advantage of that long-term relationship and get greedy.
  7. Work hard to keep your employees happy. If you don’t you will pay the price. They’ll take it out on your clients. These “internal customers” have got to buy in to what you are trying to do and see how it’s good for them or you’re going to suffer the consequences.

That’s all that’s on my mind for now!

Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s founder and CEO. Contact him at

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.