How to be a Good Boss in Bad Times
Mac Mackay - Managing Partner: dawlaw
Feel like Harry at Agincourt?
How do you inspire your happy band when the odds are stacked against you?
I think we have rid ourselves of any lingering traces of denial and have accepted that the situation is difficult. We’ve got over ‘denial, concealment, discussion and negotiation, confrontation’ and hopefully not ‘collapsed’. But now what?
We need ‘remedial management’ and NOW.
Unlike ‘incumbent management’, ‘remedial management’ has no emotional attachment to assets and programmes, is not encumbered by a pre-existing relationship with lenders and creditors, and is therefore able to approach the task dispassionately. They are capable of instigating and directing multi-functional, simultaneous change programmes. Experienced individuals unfettered by ‘tradition’ – and probably not the person you’d want to lead a firm when times are good.
Hence, here’s the fundamental challenge to being a good manager in bad times: you just might not be up to the task in terms of experience, psychology, outlook or skills.
I have a handful of ideas of observed behaviors from the better managers I meet:
- First, you might need to ask ‘what right do you have even to exist as a firm’ – just because you are a legal entity? Think again. We must win that right from all stakeholders – clients and staff.
- Second, you need to facilitate greater engagement from your people in a world of challenges to achieve that first objective.
- Third, get your people working as teams – to share their learning, if nothing else.
- Fourth, ‘become the change you want to see’ (with apologies to Ghandi). This means start becoming a true role model: ‘walk-the-walk’ (act it), don’t just ‘talk-the-talk’ (say it)!
- And finally, recognize that there are finite resources – people, expertise, time… which leads back to the first idea. Managers need to continually ask ‘what right do we have to prosper’ – and do those things to win the right.
OK, so how do you do that?
Well, while management training might not be mandatory for you – beyond Management Course Stage One – the way we do it at ‘dawlaw’ is a dynamic way for you to start to build the hardest of skills – the soft skills – as a manager of lawyers.
So, want to survive and prosper?
Improve the engagement of your people...
Talk to us.
Talk to us.