Jonas McCormick is a managing partner at Deloitte, the world’s largest private professional services organization in the world. McCormick discusses his first job was as a lifeguard at the Country Club in his hometown.

Jonas McCormick
Title: Managing Partner
Company: Deloitte

Describe your very first job and what you learned from it.

I was 16, and my very first job was as a lifeguard at Rock River Country Club in Illinois where I grew up. The thing that I think I learned the most in the job was how to deal with people. Each of the different members of the club had different personalities, views, wants, wishes, etc., and dealing and balancing in and among those competing requests and demands taught me a lot about serving customers and clients, and adapting to the personality types.

Describe your first job in your industry and what you learned from it.

I started my career in the consulting practice of Andersen. I started at the very bottom of the firm as a staff consultant. While I spent my fair share of time making copies and getting doughnuts and bagels for the various project teams I worked with in my early days, what I learned about all aspects of business was immense. Learning the profession from the ground up and working my way through every level of the firm is something that I would never trade, given what I learned at each and every level along the way. Also, having a lens into so many different businesses through the clients I have served at every level through the years has provided a dimension and perspective that has been invaluable.

What were your salaries at both of these jobs?

In my first job as lifeguard, I made minimum wage, which was $3.35 per hour at that time. My total salary for the summer was $1,169. My starting salary as Andersen was $32,500.

Who is your biggest mentor and what role did they play?

I have been very fortunate to have many mentors throughout my life and career. They have provided sage counsel, insight and advice in both my personal and professional life. They make up what I call my “personal board of directors” that I turn to quite often. Specific to my current position as managing partner of the firm, I have been the beneficiary of working closely with the likes of Jack Henry, Dave Scullin and Rick Rayson, who have each provided a great example of how to perform in the role and what’s important in the job. Each one of them is quite different stylistically, which has allowed me to learn different attributes from each including how to put my own personal stamp on the role.

What advice would you give to a person entering your industry?

There is absolutely no substitute for hard work, dedication and perseverance. It is a wonderful profession. In the world of professional services and serving clients it is important to know that when you truly concern yourself with welfare of others you engender loyalty and respect and you create value. The more you can take away problems and come back with solutions, the more value you create for those you serve while, enhancing your “personal brand” and reputation as a reliable go-to resource.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?

I honestly can’t think of doing anything else in any other profession. I truly love the professional services world and serving clients.

 Arizona Business Magazine September/October 2011