Today's Wills and Probate Podcast

Law firms and leadership – the skill of profitable delegation

The Today’s Wills and Probate podcast welcome Dan Warburton on to discuss the topic of leadership. Dan works with law firms leaders and partners to elevate their leadership skills to enable them empower staff to be more efficient and effective.

Dan describes his work as “the skill of profitable delegation;” to create leaders who can deliver high levels of performance across their team.

He cites the structure of many law firms in which lawyers are targeted on clients and the number of hours they bill… the system is set up in such a way that the more hours you work, in theory the more profit and remuneration can achieve. But when it comes to promotion what happens is you are expected to continue to build a client bank, and bill your hours, and manage a team of people. It is, says Dan, unachievable without simply more time into the equation, which has an impact on wellbeing and staff retention.

Few partners achieve what Dan describes as a “transition out of being a technician in the business to being a business owner. The structure and success of the organisation relies on them.

There is a way to resolve this, but we can only create successful teams when they willingly take responsibility for the success of the business. Dan shares his insight into how law firms can empower management teams and leaders to build trust and confidence in staff through regular one-to-one calls and coaching sessions.

There is a cycle that needs breaking in law firms, says Dan. If a partners we keep our head down and just keep trying to crank out work we build firms that rely on us. When our team want things from us and we tell them what they need, they just keep relying on us. We must delegate work away and create highly effective team members underneath us.

Throughout the discussion Dan shares leadership insight and tools that leaders and manager can take away and implement today. One such example is the process of making requests, in which there are 3 key elements

  1. You must be clear on exactly what you want done; which must be measurable, not an abstract principle such as “keeping the client happy.”
  2. It must have a timeframe
  3. You must have joint agreement and offer the respondent the opportunity accept, decline or counteroffer in order to reach a jointly agreed action plan.

Ultimately, says Dan, when leadership is in, it’s in.. when leadership is out, it’s out. Listen in to this interesting discussion for law firm leaders and managers.

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