At age 56 I was ready to move on with my life—away from the corporate grind that had consumed me for the prior 35 years. I had been successful—a partner at a professional services firm, a North American Finance manager at a consumer products firm, running a global benefits call center. My children were grown and out of college. My wife and I began to think about all the things on our bucket list that we’d soon take on. My life was mine to do as I pleased. Work was something in the rear-view mirror.
Why AC Lordi?
I knew the firm from being a client for many years. A boutique firm with an enthusiasm and energy to provide value to clients in solving real problems. A firm that focuses on getting things done, not on PowerPoint slides and endless meetings. People who have actually occupied the seat I was sitting in, had faced the issues that I had faced, had created solutions that met my specific needs and that weren’t some boilerplate solution recycled from countless other client engagements. If I could sum up the value proposition represented by AC Lordi that I felt as a client it would be, “We’ve done this before, and we can help you do it, too.”
In short, they cared about my success. Really cared.
What Brings Me to Today?
So I had been a client, and a happy one at that. What brings me to today?
Having spent over 25 years at my last firm I thought I was “institutionalized.” I had deep tribal knowledge of how and why things worked at my company, but after 25 years I felt isolated from the rest of the world. Sure, I had been successful, but how could those company-specific experiences possibly translate outside of the world I had operated in for a quarter century? How could what I know, what I had experienced, what I had seen and done, add value?
And more importantly, why would I even want to find out at this stage of my life?
Life has a way of filling voids. A lunch here. Catching up for a drink there. Following former colleagues on LinkedIn. Messages just to stay in touch. Conversations that, over time, began to make me believe that the experiences I had, although largely limited to a few companies over my career, were nonetheless valuable to other firms who were facing similar issues. Successes I had attained in my career—developing client profitability, ledger and payroll systems implementations, private-to-public migration, standing up a global FP&A function, understanding how to “tell the financial story”—were all things that other companies were struggling with. Even my experiences that didn’t go as planned, like introducing a PC-based budgeting tool to a population that had never used computers, were meaningful if only to highlight the pitfalls to be avoided. The name on the door may be different, but the needs are often the same. I started to realize that I had a story to tell, experiences to share, value to add. I had been there … I had done that.
A Newfound Sense of Value
But why would I want to “do that” again?
It started to crystalize for me as those “catch up conversations” began to fuel an energy and enthusiasm for my newfound sense of value—and I recalled my experience as a client of AC Lordi. I remembered the sense of commitment the Lordi team displayed, their investment in my success, their desire to deliver real solutions—not vague proposals and generalities. I saw the people on the team, spanning age and experience, and felt a passion that was infectious. I was at a stage of my life and my career where I didn’t have to do this—I wanted to do this. I wanted to be able to focus on value creation versus dodging issues, on developing solutions versus maintaining the status quo, on people versus politics, on doing the “fun” part of the job I had left several years prior. In short, I wanted to be the consultant to the client I had once been—to care about my clients’ success and help them achieve it.
For me, being with AC Lordi has been the perfect next chapter in my career—a capstone to what is now almost 40 years of life in business. I get to share my experiences with my clients—both successes and failures—in order to bring a real perspective to their issues as we jointly pursue solutions. I get to learn from clients and members of the Lordi team—new technologies, new points of view, new questions to ponder, new ways of approaching age-old problems. I get to mentor staff, to give them the benefit of my experience so our joint success can be sustained, striving to leave behind a legacy that is more than the sum of its parts.
That’s why I am AC Lordi.
Steve Lynch, MBA is a Director in AC Lordi’s Business Advisory practice. He is a finance and operations management professional with more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing and professional services industries. He has served as a trusted advisor to business leaders in managing ongoing operations as well as special projects and initiatives. Steve has designed and implemented customer profitability solutions in multiple organizations and industries. Previously, he served as Director of Financial Planning & Analysis responsible for segment and regional FP&A for a publicly traded $3.5 billion professional services firm. Steve can be reached at email@example.com or 610-738-0100.