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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The "No Jerks" Rule

Excerpts from Consulting Magazine

Upon approaching the mandatory retirement age at Deloitte, Thomas Doorley decided he wasn’t ready to quit the profession. He instead set out to found a new firm, Sage Partners.

The youngest consultant is 51 and our oldest is about 20 years older than that. Everybody is in the later stages of their career. They don’t have the same work/life balance issues you’d have at a traditional firm.

There’s no base compensation. There’s no guaranteed salary. How much you make is based entirely on the work you do.
Generally, five percent is set aside to cover overhead expenses. The lead generator/closer gets about 15 percent. And the remaining 80 percent is divided among those that do the work. As the project unfolds and individuals’ roles change, they make adjustments. On the venture development side they charge a small fee that represents between one-third to one-quarter of the typical daily rate plus out of pocket expenses. And the rest is paid with options when the client goes public.

"We’ve got a no jerks rule. If we find out we’ve got a bad egg, we want them out as quickly as possible. At a small firm, we don’t have time to deal with distractions form one person. We call it the airplane rule. When we hired someone, we’d imagine having to sit next to this person for eight hours on a plane. If we didn’t think we could stand it, we wouldn’t hire them. At this point in our careers, we don’t do anything we’re not excited about doing."

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