Big Changes in 2011

I’ve had a chance (like many of you) to reflect over the past year and look at things that went well and …well, things that I wish I could change. That’s water under the bridge. My new revelation? Bad clients. Working with bad clients is something I will not do again. Ever. I am not a fan of waking up every day and dealing with clients that don’t respect my time, don’t return my e-mails and in general don’t have the same client value equation I get from the majority of companies (99%) I work with. I have made the decision in 2011 that I will no longer work with clients I don’t enjoy working with. Nope. I’m done. If clients want to find another whipping post – I’m cool with that. it just won’t be me or my firm.

Over the years, I have always found it hard to walk away from business. In 2008 and 2009 it was REALLY hard! But, now – it’s much easier to walk away- especially from bad business. There has to be a mutual value exchange between my firm and the clients we serve – or it simply won’t work. With age comes wisdom – and perhaps a lower tolerance for the things we loathe. I want to look forward each and every day to the important work we do as I truly have a passion for the search business. I love it.

I hope each of you reading this find the passion you are looking for as it changes everything. The same concept I have for bad clients should also apply to bad jobs, bad bosses and a bad culture. Every day should be your Super Bowl and you deserve to enjoy it! So, after ball drops in Times Square, the champagne bottles are empty and the NEW YEAR parties have ended, think long and hard about what you really have a passion for in 2011 – then go out and find it. It’s actually pretty cool!

Happy New Year to all HITT readers! Raise your glasses and let’s toast to a great 2011 – for all of us!

About the author


Tim Tolan

Tim Tolan is the Senior Partner of the Healthcare IT and Services Practice of Sanford Rose Associates. He has conducted searches for CEOs, presidents, senior vice presidents, vice presidents of business development, product development and sales. Tim is also the co-author of "The CEO’s Guide to Talent Acquisition – Finding Talent Your Competitors Overlook," available on Amazon.


  • Great post Tim! It takes a large amount of courage to follow thru with “firing clients” but I have done it and found myself to be much more productive and to gain much better relationships with my “good clients”.

  • Joe – I have only had to do this a couple of times. At first I was very nervous and started to second-guess myself. After I made the call I felt so much better. Life is way to short. Might as well enjoy what we do!

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