We have the technology. We can build a better Practice Leader.
Practice Leaders serve as the front line in driving growth. They are the first set of feet on the ground—developing your markets, client relationships, and the people in your firm. Yet law firms tell us they frequently struggle with finding the right Practice Leaders. The difficulty lies in knowing whether someone can deliver results and inspire others to do the same.
Most firms believe the strongest Practice Leaders were destined for their rock star status; attributing success to intangible qualities like charisma, determination, or intelligence. But BTI’s research shows the Practice Leaders consistently delivering outsized results share 3 traits.
- Extraordinarily present
The best leaders are never distracted or too busy. Clients, partners, and staff are convinced they have 110% of the Practice Leaders undivided attention. Mobile devices aren’t checked, there are no glances to their watches, and they do not interrupt your conversation to talk to someone else. Nothing else exists except you and your task at hand.
- Build consensus to drive action
Hours, days, even months can be wasted in trying to find the root cause of a problem or obstacle—and even more time is lost in developing the perfect solution. The highest performers don’t analyze a problem to its core. They quickly and succinctly identify problems to get everyone focused on the solution. The strongest Practice Leaders solicit input from their partners on proposed solutions and build consensus around the actions to drive performance. This approach drives enthusiasm and energy around action—not intellectual understanding.
- Decide and act quickly
Standout practice leaders are more comfortable making decisions with less information than others. Not every angle needs to be examined before an informed decision can be made. Much like clients complain about padding the bill with research hours, leaders can spend valuable time analyzing instead of acting. Strong Practice Leaders act swiftly and clearly communicate decisions to act. They also are the first to change course if new information demands a different course of action.
The message: stop looking for leaders and build one.
Leaders are made—not born. Once they understand the approaches and principles to drive success, Practice Leaders can transform and enhance an entire firm.
Get the tools to build your own bionic Practice Leaders with the upcoming BTI Legal Spending Outlook 2015: Your guide to targeting the best opportunities in 17 practice areas. Pre-order now.