Building Relationships Moves Business Forward                            

Published:04/15/2020 | Posted by Steve Sadaka

lessons learned from a lifetime of business by steven sadaka

The StevenDouglas leadership is comprised of executives that have decades of business experience and many stories about navigating success, despite what life or the economy throws at them.  We want to share these valuable lessons to help others prosper in uncertain times, be inspired, and know that there is always a way to progress, regardless of the circumstances you face.


“I never worry about action, but only inaction.” ~ Winston Churchill

I want to share something from my personal experience as the Founder & CEO of a successful, private company for over 40 years.  Throughout my tenure, or regardless of the size of the firm, I never stopped building meaningful relationships with clients and focusing on service, and I expect all of our leaders to do the same.  Everyone is in the trenches here – that’s why I included a Winston Churchill quote.

I’ve been around, and seen a lot of ups and downs, and somehow, some way, I just keep “moving forward”. That means something different depending on what kind of business you’re in, but for me, moving forward is always building trusting relationships, networking and expanding services to include whatever my client base requires.  I grew the whole firm that way, along with adding team members and executives that care more about their relationships with clients and candidates than they care about closing a deal.

I started the firm specializing in banking and finance, and grew it over 40 years to include multiple practices and industry experts based on needs of clients and market demands.  It wasn’t always what I personally envisioned, but that strategy always kept the firm evolving with the times and moving forward.

First major challenge came early on, after the crash of ’87, sometime around 1991, when a bunch of banks were taken over by the government. It was a large share of my client base, and things seemed really bad.  If I would of froze or waited for things to “improve”, I would have lost the firm.  Instead I started working with some key companies doing Mortgage Servicing Rights (MSR), and shifted my banking and finance experience to the companies that were flourishing in the financial crisis. I learned very quickly that not everything shuts down in a crisis – someone is always hiring.  I saved my company by refocusing our business development efforts, expanding our service offerings and our capabilities to move the business forward.

For my leadership lesson, I want to emphasize the value of building trusting relationships and staying on offense because someone is always doing well in a crisis. You just have to find the opportunities by adapting to the market, listening to your clients and contacts and seizing every opportunity that comes your way.

You always have to keep your eyes open for new opportunities, and most importantly, be a resource to your clients.  Listen to what the dangers or risks are that they want to remove and be aware of opportunities they want to take advantage of.  Then you see how your services can be a resource to them, and you can fill the gap.

Today, StevenDouglas is the largest executive search firm in Florida, and has many locations across the U.S., including a presence in Latin America and Canada.  The firm has also built a robust interim resources division to help clients manage change and scale up for critical initiatives.  We have made big strides moving forward in the last 35 years because of the trusted relationships we have built with our clients, and our ability to adapt to the needs of the market regardless of current economic conditions. Help Me Hire Leaders.

Written By: Steve Sadaka, Founder & CEO, StevenDouglas

Steve Sadaka Steven DouglasAbout the Author: In 1984, Mr. Sadaka started StevenDouglas in Miami after gaining experience in Public Accounting, and seeing a need for highly qualified talent in the region.  As well as founding the firm, Steve Sadaka runs the Financial Services practice which focuses on Wealth Management, Single-Family & Multi-Family offices, commercial banking and hedge funds. As CEO, his commitment and dedication to his staff has produced a culture that is supportive and encouraging, resulting in one of the highest average employee tenures in the industry.

Mr. Sadaka is on the board of the Jason Taylor Foundation, former board member of Kids in Distress, contributes annually to Make-A-Wish and Broward Partnership for the Homeless as well as a major donor to his religious organization.

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