Mitch Levinson is the Managing Partner for the Marketing Relevance Chicago office. He runs our technical team which consists of web developers, Search Engine Optimization specialists and graphic designers who work with our clients to deliver high quality product in a timely manner. From sun up to sun down, Mitch trades one hat for another to keep the technical team and our clients’ marketing programs running smoothly. Follow along for a day in the life of a managing partner.
Q: What do you do first thing in the morning?
A: The first thing I do every morning after the alarm rings is to roll over, grab my phone and look through all my message alerts. Whether email, text, Facebook, I check to see what is happening. I typically reply to those quick items, delete the newsletters after review, and move on as quickly as I can to the others. Then I get up and either workout or get my kids ready for school, and I am usually in the office between 6:45 and 8:15 depending on the day.
Q: What is the first thing you do when you get to work?
A: When I get to the office, after my morning coffee, I review my schedule for the day. Then I open my daily to-do list, review my email and add to the to-do list those items that require more than 5 or 10 minutes. I deal with those brief items right away. I try very hard to follow the OHIO principle, which means Only Handle It Once. If I can deal with it in 5 or 10 minutes, I do it immediately to get it off my plate. If it will take longer, put it on the to-do list, and even schedule an appointment to complete it if I think it will take longer than an hour.
Q: Do you have a set schedule each day?
A: My schedule changes every single day. Some days I have appointments out of the office, some days are full of conference calls, and some days have nothing on the schedule at all, except playing catch-up. I try to clean off my desk on those days. As Managing Partner, I wear a lot of hats. I spend days doing accounting, prospecting for new business, defining new company policies, meeting with clients, payroll, insurance, or even networking functions around town, in addition to all the client projects and account work I do.
Q: What is most challenging about your job? What is most rewarding?
A: My job is challenging for many reasons, and I love it. Having the opportunity to work on something new every day, helping clients achieve their goals and making my own schedule so that I can spend time with my kids are probably the most rewarding parts. Although it means that I tend to work all the time, even after dinner and at night, I would not give it up for the world. I am very passionate about focusing on the target and delivering results. Whether for a specific project, a specific client, one of the teams I coach, this is a key to how I look at life. Try as hard as you can at everything you do, and good things will follow!
Q: If there isn’t a set schedule, how do you prioritize?
A: I like to think of everything I need to do as if it fits into a quadrant system. There are those things that need to be done that take a lot of time, and those that can be completed quickly. There are also items that will have a high impact, and those that will have little impact. I start with those items that can be completed quickly and have a high impact, then I schedule those that have a high impact but might take a while, then I work on those that that are quick but might not take too long…and I try never to do anything that takes forever and will have very little impact. As a manager of people, it is important to make sure everyone on the team also subscribes to that philosophy. Getting as much done that has high impact is critical to success. Focusing on those things that take a long time and have very little impact is a hard thing to avoid if you do not know what you are looking for. Stay focused, my friends.