The 12 most common leadership challenges we experience

  1. We’re not sure where we want to take the business
  2. We need a new (or updated) strategy
  3. We’re having difficulty implementing our strategy
  4. How can we become more profitable?
  5. How can we become more efficient?
  6. How can we grow more quickly?
  7. We’re growing well but are struggling to cope
  8. We’re finding it hard to change our culture
  9. Succession (or the retirement of key people) is a real problem for us
  10. We’re thinking of buying/selling/merging (or have been approached) – what should we do?
  11. How can we work better as a team?
  12. We’ve just ‘lost our magic’


Is successful leadership just about having a great leader?

The qualities of a great leader have been well rehearsed; they include: being able to articulate a vision for the future and how to get there; being flexible, anticipating change and adapting accordingly; being approachable and an excellent communicator (both within the firm and externally); having the skills to influence the partner team.….

But is it all down to the skills of the individual?

Most professional firms choose their leaders from within. But who makes the choice and what criteria do they use? Many such leaders are put forward because they are experts in their field – they’re good lawyers, accountants, architects – but are they the best leaders?

It is becoming increasingly common, particularly in larger firms, for partners to look outside the firm for a leader with the right qualities. That process is largely driven by a desire to find the best person for the job and not restricting the choice to the pool of existing partners. Partners are custodians of their firm and have a responsibility not only to select their leader but to create an environment whereby that process can take place with the best interests of the firm at heart and without being fettered by personal agendas.

The success of a leader is not only determined by the qualities of the individual but the relationship between the leader and his followers: the way they exercise their responsibilities and the environment they create for the leader to be appointed, to lead and to retire.