Definitely Mabey

Law firm leadership—by the numbers

Stephen Mabey Author

A law firm leadership boot camp workshop was held as a precursor to the CBA's Law Firm Leadership Conference in Calgary last month. I had the good fortune to participate as a co-presenter with Karen MacKay and Lorie Peters and in preparing for it Karen circulated a survey, titled "The Leadership Imperative," to a cross section of people involved in law firm leadership in Canadian firms.

Before reviewing the results of the survey, it is important to provide you with a snapshot of the demographics of the 72 responses so you can draw your own conclusions as to it being representative of your firm:

StatsAnd now for some of the results!

When asked how leaders in their firms were chosen, there was a dead tie at 47 per cent each for “leaders evolve and no election necessary” and “by election.” While we have no evidence other than conjecture, I would imagine that there has been an erosion of the “leaders evolve and no election necessary” category due to both the growth in the size of firms and the challenges faced by the legal profession.

Those surveyed were asked to rank the importance of various competencies for a leader to be successful in their firms. The rankings they used were: critical, important, somewhat important, and not important. The competencies a significant number of responders ranked critical were: communication (written, oral) at 76 per cent; decision making a judgment at 72 per cent; and interpersonal at 66 per cent. The competencies a significant number of responders ranked important were: financial at 70 per cent; business acumen at 70 per cent; sense of urgency at 60 per cent; and managing underperformance at 60 per cent.

The emphasis placed on:

The rest of this article is available in Stephen Mabey's new Book

Book Cover - Leading and Managing a Sustainable Law Firm - Tactics & Strategies for a Rapidly Changing Profession by Stephen Mabey

Available for purchase on BookBaby.




Until next month, in the words of John Quincy Adam,

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, do more and become more, you are a leader."

Comments or Questions?

First Published in Canadian Lawyer November 2012. Copyright © Applied Strategies Inc.

Legal Strategy Consultant