Stratford Shields is probably best known for privatizing the Ohio State University parking system for four hundred and eighty-three million dollars, which was awarded “deal of the year” in the non-traditional category from Bond Buyer. He has helped several other pivotal companies achieve financial success as well, including hospitals, municipals, and airports.
The question becomes, how does a man like Stratford Shields do what he does, how did he become so successful? He focuses on his clients to start with. Even when he is not traveling, he is in the office, considering how he can best serve his clients. Since he works across several sectors, often times he will compare notes to see if something successful for one client would be successful for another. He brings to life these ideas by talking to his clients and considering the pros and cons along with them.
He believes that thinking the way we always have means nothing will ever change and that we must pay attention to the details. This helps Shields stay organized and focused in order to convey to the client exactly what he is proposing. That is the other key component to this- he communicates openly with his clients, making sure to follow up if he has a new idea. If they have an idea, then he will sit down and discuss the positives and the negatives with them until they reach a decision.
It is also important that we get back up when we are knocked down and to work only with those who want to work with us. They don’t want to work with you? Then focus on those that do. It will help keep the excitement going.
Stratford Shields’ favorite quote is, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts” by Winston Churchill and that sums his philosophies up pretty well.