Jim Donovan, an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and partner at Goldman Sachs, gave a speech last year explaining his unique approach to business.
He said: “What has distinguished me in my career from my peers is my approach to covering clients. I discovered that the best way for me to cover clients was to cover them holistically. I wanted to be all things finance to all my clients. Whatever they needed, I would do. So it wasn’t just when a merger came up every five years, but every five minutes, that I was in contact with them. So when that merger deal did come up, it wasn’t a question of whether or not I would handle it—they came to me because I was advising them on seventeen other things.
This allowed me to 1) box out the competition because I was already there 2) become the trusted advisor to the client. So the mistake that most lawyers make is when they’re given a mandate, staying within the four corners or boundaries of that mandate. ”