Sasso: Golf -- with clients, friends -- is his vacation

No doubt, as chairman of the 200-attorney Philadelphia-based law firm, Stradley Ronon, William R. Sasso is a wealthy man, yet he rarely goes on vacation, even for a week.

"I just can’t relax for long periods of time. I guess," Sasso told me during our Leadership Agenda interview, published in Monday's Philadelphia Inquirer. "I feel that if my clients want to talk to me about something that’s important to them, I should always be available to them. I've gone on a vacation and I spend a lot to time talking to clients because I don’t want to say, `I’m on vacation. Can I get back to you.'

William R. Sasso, chairman, Stradley Ronan Stevens & Young

"If it is important enough for them to call me, it’s important enough for me to try to resolve whatever difficulties they have," he said.

So, I said, you're not really having any fun on vacation anyway. May as well not go.

"Well, I enjoy solving problems for clients," he said. "So, for me, that is fun. I get a lot more satisfaction out of solving a client’s problems than I do sitting by a pool reading a book."

To relax, Sasso plays golf, frequently with clients.

"That’s really my only leisure activity. I don’t take vacations," he said. "There’s nothing better than spending time with a group of friends or clients on a golf course and more importantly at the club house afterwards."

Sasso doesn't separate his personal and business lives. Clients are friends; friends are clients. And golf cements the relationships, whatever they are. I asked him if young lawyers have a similar fondness for using golf in that way.

"We actually got a corporate membership in one of the best clubs in the area to make it easy for our young lawyers to play golf," Sasso said. "It’s a very expensive sport and I think that’s one thing that keeps young lawyers from getting involved in it. So we decided to get a corporate membership so our young lawyers could entertain clients and play golf."

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