Enhancing Your Personal Leadership Skills: Influence and Persuasion

03.06.19 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
Traditionally, firm leaders used a top-down, authoritarian style. Change initiatives, strategic and operational objectives and new policies were announced using a “command and control” approach, dictating what needed to be done and by when. Decisions and outcomes often were predetermined by the managing partner or an executive committee and imposed upon others at the firm. Read More

Accelerate Your Personal Success: Executive Presence

02.20.19 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
Executive presence is comprised of the gravitas/aura you project, the ways in which you communicate, your appearance, the impression you make and your authenticity. It is an essential quality for leaders and critical for all who want to succeed – a combination of traits and behaviors that can mean the difference between advancing or remaining Read More

Think Before You Say Yes! To Conferences and Speaking Requests

02.06.19 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
Our last post, Be Intentional About Personal Marketing and Business Development, provided reasons for and tips on how to become more intentional about business development.  One aspect of business development that can become very time-consuming and expensive is attendance and speaking at conferences or seminars.  Before accepting invitations to speak or requesting approval to attend Read More

Be Intentional about Your Personal Marketing and Business Development

01.23.19 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
Most lawyers recognize the need to actively pursue new work by generating repeat business from satisfied existing clients and by attracting new clients to the firm. Too many, however, still engage in random acts of marketing or “throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks.” Even effective rainmakers could do a better job of Read More

Practice Groups Part 4: Practice Group Leader as Talent Manager and Coach

01.09.19 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
  Perhaps one of the most challenging responsibilities for today’s practice group leaders is the “people” side of the business. In our prior two posts, we have discussed the Practice Group Leader as Strategist and the Practice Group Leader as Financial Steward. While PGLs often get help from others managing the associates and staff in Read More

Practice Groups Part 3: Practice Group Leader as Financial Steward

12.12.18 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
As firms continue to grow in size and complexity, it often is no longer possible for them to drive, manage and measure the revenue growth of the firm only through the central leadership. The concept of practice groups operating as business units is that they now have primary responsibility for overseeing major aspects of their Read More

Practice Groups Part 2: Practice Group Leader as Strategist

11.28.18 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
It is surprising how many law firms, their leaders and partners eschew the discipline of planning and strategy. Many firms still don’t require annual plans or even the process of planning from their partners, or practice groups and many don’t even have a strategic plan for the firm. A survey conducted by Patrick McKenna and David Read More

Practice Groups Part 1: The Framework and Leadership Role

11.07.18 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
Most law firms have implemented a  practice group structure. Even those firms that retain the traditional, larger umbrella department structure (for example, corporate/transactional, litigation/disputes, regulatory,) most break down the management of the practice into smaller strategic business units that are used to: Organize lawyers and manage talent with specific skills and specialties Develop, execute and monitor Read More

Change Management 2: Strong Leadership and Collaboration are Required to Drive Change

10.24.18 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
Making meaningful and sustainable change will require collaboration and strong leadership. As discussed in Change Management Part 1, effectuating change in law firms is more difficult than other professions and industries and managing partners cite the reluctance or refusal of the vast majority of their partners to change.  Given the dynamic shifts occurring in the Read More

Change Management Part 1: The Framework

10.10.18 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
  The instability, disruption and resulting anxiety in the legal profession at times feels like a roller coaster: ups and downs, twists and turns, peaks and valleys, fast and slow, feelings of risk, exposure and vulnerability and a lack of control over our destiny. We are more or less along for the ride, which admittedly Read More