We all know that the law firm leader’s job is unlike any other in the firm. One way of envisioning its multiple responsibilities is to map them by the constituencies one must address. Today’s leader must be an ambassador to the outside world as well as chief cheerleader, challenger of the status quo, and an implementer of their partners’ collective aspirations within the firm. Patrick J. McKenna, McKenna Associates Inc., together with Michael Rynowecer, President of The BTI Consulting Group, distributed a survey containing over 35 questions to a group of some 250 law firm leaders. Their data uncovered some surprising and insightful findings. For example, they found that for 56% of today’s firm leaders, irrespective of firm size, this is a full-time commitment; with a total of 81% reporting that they “perceive the challenges that they face as being far more complex than a few years back” and 13% even freely admitting they were, “almost overwhelming at times.” Perhaps surprising to some, it is not an exaggeration to state that we have leaders of America’s largest firms managing hundred-million to billion dollar businesses, all too often thrust into the role with 67% of them having no clear job description and one in five reporting it to be a “pretty much sink or swim” exercise. Ironically, having served as an office managing partner, or even as a practice or industry group leader seemed to have absolutely minimal value in preparing one for taking on the responsibility of being leader of the entire firm.
Patrick J. McKenna, an internationally recognized author, lecturer, strategist and seasoned advisor to the leaders of premier law firms discusses why and how strong leaders should voluntarily initiate their own performance feedback. McKenna’s detailed and actionable guide identifies the enormous benefits of doing so.
Patrick J. McKenna is an internationally recognized author, lecturer, strategist and seasoned advisor to the leaders of premier law firms. McKenna’s deep dive into law firm strategic planning delivers a detailed guide on the major errors to circumvent to establish a winning competitive position going forward.
Patrick J. McKenna is a highly respected lecturer, strategist and advisor to law firms. McKenna’s experience has taught him that the best performing teams have discovered to operate effectively they need to formalize what they should specifically be able to expect of each other as members. He calls these expectations the group’s ‘Rules of Engagement’, and in this article he articulates that to be effective, these rules of engagement must be clear, consistent, agreed to and followed. A challenging endeavor in any workplace, but critical to high performing and innovative law firms.