Creating Meaningful Relationships – Cary Mailandt
It wouldn’t be too big of a stretch to say that Cary Mailandt was simply destined to be a partner at MCG. While his route was decidedly different than many of his coworkers, Mailandt’s current position as a partner within the Consulting Services group, overseeing the Strategy and Management Consulting practice area, has proven to be a perfect fit for his relationship-building skills — and a proven asset to MCG’s clients.
His path began with a degree in electrical engineering from the elite engineering program at Georgia Institute of Technology. Clearly, the future was bright, but as his career began to blossom while utilizing his degree at Texas Instruments, Mailandt realized pretty quickly that he naturally gravitated to the type of work that, in his words, generated “all the action.”
“I started off as an electrical engineer out of undergrad, working at Texas Instruments as a EE,” he said. “I learned early on that… you could have more impact if you actually worked more with clients and customers, so I ended up transitioning out of that individual contributor engineering role into more of a technical marketing role, where I was able to work more with clients to help specify semiconductor devices. I wanted to learn even more about the customer interaction, so I ended up transitioning while still at TI into a sales role and then a sales management role. All of that was very fulfilling, and then I just wanted to take my knowledge of business to the next level.”
That compulsion to learn and grow resulted in Mailandt matriculating to Boston to attend Harvard Business School, where he earned an MBA while building on his knowledge of management and strategy consulting. Eventually, he got introduced to the Boston Consulting Group and was hired on at the company. BCG had a thriving office in Dallas, so Mailandt took the opportunity to move back to his hometown for an internship before joining BCG full-time in 2008. After spending three years as a strategy consultant and consulting engagement manager, his desire for work-life balance — another hallmark of MCG — led to another pivotal move.
“I ended up leaving to really just slow down on all the rigorous travel,” said Mailandt. “We were expecting our first child and so I joined a company that came through a client we had at BCG. It was a private equity group that was based out of San Francisco, and they needed a lot of help and horsepower with one of their big roll-ups they had that was based in Dallas. Long story short, I ended up leaving BCG for that company, did that for a couple of years, and then I realized that, if I’m going to effectively be a consultant, I might as well do it on my own terms.
“That’s when I put together a business plan that involved me going out on my own and starting my own consulting group,” he said. “(MCG partners) Tom Montgomery, Gary Boyd and Matt Coscia got hold of it through a mutual friend of ours. They basically said, ‘We should start something like this in-house — let’s reach out to Cary and talk to him. Fast forward six months… we ended up saying this makes a lot of sense, let’s do this. That’s when I began my career with MCG, starting their strategy consulting practice group. We’ve been growing ever since, and recently I was named the partner in charge of the overall consulting group.”
Dallas-based TEGA Technologies, which specializes in digital marketing technology, approached MCG in 2014 to aid in the launch of a new software platform that was versatile enough to be applicable to multiple industries. TEGA’s founder and CEO, Bill Hamlin, faced some difficult choices on which industries to focus, along with what their five-year strategy would be during and after implementation. “I hired them at first for a five-week stint to come in and basically go over our entire organization,” Hamlin said. “I don’t think they left a single stone unturned.”
Mailandt and his team developed a comprehensive strategy that not only was integral to the software’s success, it created a relationship that is now beneficial to both client and consultant. “We looked at their product’s capabilities, we looked at how relevant those capabilities were to the various end markets that they could go after,” said Mailandt. “We looked at their product roadmap and how that might fit into the future of different end markets that they could go after. We also looked at where they had success historically, and then finally, we looked at the organization to see where their talents lied in order to capture certain commercial opportunities at the end-market level. We put all those things together and we came up with a strategy for these guys that was followed to a T.
“I hired them at first for a five-week stint to come in and basically go over our entire organization. I don’t think they left a single stone unturned.” – CEO Bill Hamlin of TEGA
“In fact, they have actually become a massive fan of our firm from that engagement. They now use us as their tax firm and also use us for accounting services. That one engagement is a great example of how we were really significant to this business and to their ability to grow profits. Because of that, they’re deeply loyal to us and they now use us for a number of other services.”
Mailandt’s insight, energy and ability to connect with his clients have led to an even deeper relationship with TEGA, as he was almost immediately offered a spot on its Board of Directors. “I get so much out of Cary,” said Hamlin. “Now that Cary’s on the board, it’s interesting because he’s definitely the ringleader of my advisory board for sure. He’s the one everybody looks to and he carries a lot of respect.”
For Mailandt, that’s simply part of the company DNA that sets MCG apart. “It’s amazing how every consulting engagement now is an opportunity to deeply impact our clients — we can be so impactful that they literally become part of the family and they want us to be a part of their business in a really intimate way.
“It’s a really special place.”