SAS Advisory Services: Former CEO launches advisory service for first-time organization leaders

Grafton, Wis. – Paul Schulz distinctly remembers a profound feeling upon taking over as chief executive officer at a company: “No one prepared me for this.”

Decisions, large and small, rested on his shoulders. His every move was watched and studied by subordinates. The sense of responsibility was overwhelming. He could have used some advice … if only there was someone to offer it.

Indeed, no school exists for “How to Be a CEO.” First-time leaders of organizations, big or small, usually don’t know what they don’t know. They can feel in over their heads, and quickly exhausted.

Schulz, a veteran business executive with 30 years of “C-Level” experience, is ready to help. His new firm, SAS Advisory Services, specializes in one-on-one coaching and mentoring for first-time CEOs, and presidents, of businesses and other organizations.

“I know from experience that it truly can be lonely at the top,” said Schulz, who retired as CEO at Max Weiss Company, a Milwaukee-based metal forming and fabricating business, in 2021. “Nothing prepares you for being the ‘top dog.’ Having the counsel of someone who’s ‘been there,’ and can act as a trusted confidante and sounding board, is invaluable for learning the ropes of top leadership.”

SAS Advisory Services guides new leaders to be better businesspeople, by providing direction that relieves worries and fears, and helping them tackle challenges with confidence and clarity. A big part is teaching new CEOs and presidents how to work “on” a business, not “in” it. Micromanaging is an easy trap to fall into.

Rather, new leaders should define priorities, and trust their team to handle day-to-day operations. They should focus on identifying and communicating their vision for an organization, and putting the pieces in place to make it reality. Above all, creating a culture that values people is vital to success.

Schulz, who calls himself “The CEO Shepherd,” has held every position in the “C-Suite”: CEO, CFO, COO, Senior Vice-President and Controller. After three decades of “being there,” he understands well the challenges and opportunities of leadership.

“Being a leader can be both isolating and rewarding, especially a high level,” Schulz said. “Having a trusted advisor is worth its weight in gold. Sometimes that person is a devil’s advocate, sometimes a cheerleader, and sometimes just a shoulder to lean on. All are critical to help the new leader succeed.”

More information about SAS Advisory Services is available by calling (414) 232-6039 or visiting