What makes a good managing partner?

The question seems appropos at this time. I was just interviewed by a leading legal publication, asking me the question, "How do lawyers become good managers of other lawyers?"  Since law schools frown on providing this type of information — and, in fact, generally refuse to provide law practice management courses, how DO lawyers become skill practice management leaders?

Edge International recently conducted a survey. Adam Smith, Esq. discusses some of the qualities valued by respondents in that survey:

1. Committed to making change happen
    a.    Continually pushing the envelope in bringing business principles to the law firm environment
    b.    The firm appears well run but he knew it needed to change and led the way
    c.    Insisting on continuous re-invention as the legal climate changes
    d.    Driving changes that are "elegant and inspiring"

2. Has an ambitious agenda
    a.    Isn’t afraid to fail some of the time; sets high goals

3. Handles the tough issues directly
    a.    Doesn’t shrink from tough calls
    b.    Listens very hard but then takes decisive action

4. Aligns people behind his vision for the firm
    a.    Has mastered the art of building consensus
    b.    Understands where his partners want to go with the firm and gently guides them to bigger goals
    c.    Spends a lot of time talking with partners about the firm’s future direction

5. Maintains core values
    a.    Has rejuvenated a great firm in danger of getting too comfortable
    b.    Reaffirms core values that made the firm great
    c.    Focuses on values


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