Posted at 14:09h
A company or a firm is nothing more than a network of people held together only by conditional promises to each other. Positive Leadership is what strengthens that bond.
From my experience in consulting to law firms, I saw firsthand when Dewey & Leboeuf
fell apart and knew it was happening a day or two before it was announced. The partners who didn't see the writing on the wall and were still there were too late. They were the ones who were most vocal about what was going on. They were obviously panicked. The ones who didn't trust the leadership had already found a chair before the music stopped, and that was a day that would forever be a lesson that leadership and trust really count in building an organization that will outlast all others.
They tried to blame it on the headhunters, the unrealistic comp guarantees, and other easy targets. Maybe they were contributing variables. But it really was a leadership issue. The merger of two different firms never really took, and the smoke and mirrors from the people wearing the green eye shades to hide the impending collapse was eventually discovered.
The rest is history, as they say. And history is a great teacher.
- Be honest with your team about what happens behind closed doors if it is relevant to their work. If there are problems, let them know, but bring solutions. It's a trite expression, but the cover up is always worse than the crime.
- It's not about the money, kind of. There need to be clear reasons why someone would be with an organization outside of comp. If there are not, then it's just a collection of solo practitioners under the same roof.
- Personal leadership, the one-on-one old fashioned low-tech variety, is the secret to building a massively successful organization. I've had tens of thousands of conversations with professionals trying to extricate them from their organizations and put them into obviously better opportunities. "I like the people here," is the reason I get most times when they say they are going to stay. It's not about the great opportunity in their current organization, but usually that one-on-one relationship with their immediate boss and those closest to them.