Last week I discussed the characteristics of successful law firms and introduced the basic building blocks that successful firms typically have in place. These are:
Last week we focused on partner relations as a core foundational building block.
The second basic building block is leadership. Successful firms have good leadership in place. This may be a single individual or a core group of individuals. Leadership does not always come from the formalized management structure of the firm.
Leadership is one of the major problems facing law firms. Leaders are needed for managing partner posts, executive committee chairs, and practice group heads.
Leadership behaviors include:
Leadership skills will need to be included in compensation systems.
Seven traits of effective leaders include:
Leadership is what makes things happen and propels the firm forward, facilitates new directions and attainment of strategic goals, and provides the firms the resiliency needed in today's challenging competitive climate.
Law firms without leadership are easy to spot. They are the firms that are "stuck-in-a-rut", unable to reach agreement or concensus on new ideas, stagnating profitability, partner defections.
Firm must pay attention to this key area and develop leaders for all roles mentioned above.
I will address each of the other building blocks in upcoming postings.
John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC