Despite my P&G background, I didn’t come to McKinsey to be a leader in our Marketing & Sales Practice. I came in as a generalist and a colleague took an interest in me and my family and helped me define my direction. We’ve stayed friends ever since.
I was one of the founders of the Marketing & Sales Practice, and I have worked there since the late 1980s. Now, just under 20 percent of the firm’s studies are marketing-related. It’s been wonderful to watch that grow globally. I’ve also started two practices for consumer clients; one in Toronto and the other in the southern United States. My McKinsey is about building those practices.
"With each project I learn more and more about how to work with senior management teams and make change happen. That’s what we do—we make change happen in global companies."
Colleagues and friends
You have this impression from the outside that McKinsey consists of a bunch of type-A MBAs who are very linear and not that interesting. But it is a much more eclectic group. We hire broadly, and because we emphasize the ability to build relationships and think creatively, those are the people who are attracted to the firm. Many of my closest friends are people I’ve met through McKinsey. I don’t necessarily work with them all the time. We’ve vacationed with them. We go away for weekends with them. And it’s not because I have to do it for business reasons. It’s just that they’re great people.
Exceeding clients’ expectations
Friends of mine who work in professional service organizations marvel at McKinsey’s ability to get the best people from any office to help any client around the world. McKinsey’s values ensure we never think parochially. For example, early on in our work with one client, we realized that they were involved in a lot of projects, but none of them were having impact on their performance. So we sent our leadership to do whatever it took to get agreement on how to move forward from there. We probably had 12 partners from seven offices involved. The idea of our senior people spending time to make sure we were doing the right work and were going to get impact just floored them. I think this says something about McKinsey’s value system. There was no question we would do this for the client.
I take pride in my work
I currently work in airlines, consumer electronics, retailing, and high-tech services. I work with leading global companies on a fantastic variety of issues. I have a lot of pride in things that will have longevity as part of McKinsey’s culture—things I’ve done that I know are a contribution to our firm because of the work that I and others have put into them over the years.
Seeing the world
Because of McKinsey I’ve traveled and been able to take my family along to experience the world. We’ve lived as a family in four cities—Toronto, London, Sydney, and Dallas. I think my wife and kids would say it’s been a great experience. We’re Canadian, and we still have our lake house in Canada, and we go back there every summer. But they’ve seen things in the world that a lot of people wouldn’t get to see.
|Harvard Business School
||MBA, Finance and Operations Management
|Queen’s University at Kingston
||BComm, Economics and Marketing