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Lessons in Leadership: How Focusing on the Client Creates Mutual Success

Mary Clare Riordan • October 28, 2016

Earlier this week, our CEO & President, Rich Lyons, had the pleasure of presenting to a group of students at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, IL. Rich, a 1992 graduate of Kellogg, spoke as part of the Lavin Bernick Executive Chats, a series held throughout the academic year that gives Kellogg students an opportunity to engage with esteemed executives or civic leaders in an intimate setting and hear their thoughts and perspectives on leadership.


Rich’s visit featured an in-depth conversation with the students on his experience as an entrepreneur and the path he took to creating the successful company LYONSCG is today. A group of about 15 students attended the hour long talk that was driven by their thoughtful questions and eagerness to learn. Topics ranged from Rich’s career path, to the current state of eCommerce, to work/life balance.  Students seemed most interested in hearing Rich’s take on why and how LYONSCG has become the premier eCommerce digital agency; what makes us different?


Rich explained that prior to founding LYONSCG, he had lived through the bankruptcies of two former employers. Without a job and limited prospects, Rich leveraged his many client and consulting relationships to launch his own company. He thought back on his previous work experiences and realized that the organizations had failed because leadership had lost focus on the customer. Rather than making decisions with the customer’s best interests in mind, they had become focused on their own wants and needs.


So Rich started LYONSCG in March 2003 with one goal in mind—to enable the success of the customer. Over the years, LYONSCG has expanded its offerings to include a holistic set of services designed to help customers optimize all aspects of their eCommerce operations, including design and user experience prior to implementation, and marketing and support after sites go live. Today, LYONSCG continues to innovate and create new products and services aligned to the needs of our customers, as well as the evolving commerce landscape.


At LYONSCG, every employee is committed to customer success. We don’t see ourselves as a vendor, but rather a partner that works side by side with our customers.  Our mantra is ONE TEAM, and this applies to both our internal organization and our approach with customers. As Rich told the students at Kellogg, “At the end of the day, our focus isn’t on what makes LYONSCG successful. We have grown over the last 13 years by having an unwavering commitment to the success of the hundreds of leading brands that we feel lucky to call our customers.”

Mary Clare Riordan is event marketing manager at LYONSCG, a proud Marquette University alum, and a fan of all things Boston sports.

Mary Clare Riordan

About the author

Mary Clare Riordan

Mary Clare Riordan is the Marketing Programs Manager at LYONSCG. When she's not running creative demand generation campaigns, you can find her cheering on Boston sports and Marquette basketball, running along the Chicago lakefront, or spending time with family and friends.

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