When developing future partners, law firms focus on technical skills and building a practice – they rarely develop leadership skills.
20 years ago, making partner meant becoming a leader by default. Modern leadership relationships are more complex, but lawyers are still reaching partnership without any training to prepare them for the new responsibility.
Leadership in Law Firms
Firms need to radically change the way they are creating leaders. With barely enough time to stop and reflect on who they are becoming, lawyers tend to view coaching and development programs as a waste of time.
When senior lawyers are ill-equipped to lead and manage teams effectively, the firm suffers. The quality of work may decline, client relationships fracture, and business plans are disrupted. Unhappy employees and frustrated partners magnify low morale.
What can firms do?
Invest in your future stars. Curate and encourage programs that are tailored to graduates, high performers and those with their eyes on executive and board level positions, before they get to partnership.
To be successful, these programs need to be supported from the top down, and they need to be on-going.
Good Leadership Creates Good Leaders
Good leadership is rewarded with a good firm culture. Engaged and motivated employees who have been provided with good technical skills are an indispensable asset to any firm.
And employees who feel valued by the firm will become the leaders that continue to value the future of the firm and its new future leaders.