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5 Habits of a Successful Managing Partner

Sep 21st 2017
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You have walked the path from staff to manager and ultimately to the pinnacle of partner in your firm. So, how do you develop the ability to see the opportunities, sift through those ideas and motivate your team?

Fear not, there are some habits that you can implement that will assist you in this challenging role. Here are five simple ones to start with:

1. Read

We often tell ourselves that we are too busy to read, but outstanding leaders are those who find the time to learn about new ideas and management concepts and infuse them into their firm.  It is easier than ever to have those resources available to you through the e-readers that are available everywhere. An iPad or Kindle allows you to make time almost anywhere you are. 

2. Take Time Off

It is an interesting phenomenon that leaders wear the number of hours that they work as a badge of honor. I have done it myself! We brag about the late nights we put in or complain (with tongue in cheek) about the HUGE list of items we have to accomplish.

Ok, congratulations – you are busier than anyone in the world and everyone is aware of it. I would like to challenge you with something you can really brag about – taking time off! Great leaders take time off to relax and recharge.

Oh, and by the way, time off means NO work. No email, no phone, no emergency client meetings! Leadership requires that you trust your team to take care of things when you are away. Leave your computer and smartphone at home and enjoy some fun away from your normal routine.

3. Think Positive

It is easy when you are a leader in the firm to go down the negative path rather than the taking the high road. Profits are not what you were hoping; fellow partners are not producing as they should, staff members are not stepping up to a higher level of productivity and the darn technology is not working like you anticipate it should.

These reasons and so many more can make it easy to get down in the muck, but your role as the Managing Partner is to find the great things that are going on and motivate people to change their behavior positively. Positive thinking is a state of mind and is a choice you can make. It does take some practice, but it is a habit that can be developed by anyone. 

4. Think Team

It is not all about you! One huge misconception about the position of Managing Partner is that you have to do everything yourself. You feel the need to be both a manager and a producer and everything has to be exactly as you have done it in the past.

As the Managing Partner, you must start thinking about your job as a tree with you as the trunk. You support all other elements, but you don’t do all the work. Delegation, setting individual goals, allowing for collaborative work teams and developing communication techniques that support your infrastructure will become your mantra. “TeamThink” is imperative to a Managing Partners success.

5. Find Your Tribe

I have heard many Managing Partners say that it is lonely at the top. While most Managing Partners’ calendars are packed with appointments to communicate and meet with clients and staff, they are hungry for time to interact with their peers.

They want to know what initiatives other firms have struggled with and how they maneuvered through the implementation process. They want to know what their peers are working on and why it is important to them.

They want to share their current celebrations and challenges and receive honest feedback from others that have walked in their shoes. Finding a group of peers who will respect and interact with you is imperative to the Managing Partners overall success in their role.

In our Managing Partner Circle, we have developed a community of Managing Partners who act as a collaborative think tank to challenge, encourage and propel each other to a higher level of success. What a wonderful way to develop this habit. 

As the Managing Partner, if you work hard on the habits stated above you will improve in your role. This challenging role can be daunting, but it is also very rewarding. Developing these new habits will provide new capabilities to use in your quest to be the high-level leader you want to be.

The original article was posted in the Boomer Bulletin blog.

Replies (2)

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By sarajane
Nov 10th 2017 16:37 EST

I agree that managing partners and "people at the top" must do a better job to keep themselves motivated and inspired. All too often many of them burn themselves out and lose their motivation and drive to continue to do their best work. Taking time of is key to reflect with oneself. And equally important, is finding your tribe as long as it is constructively and not for complaining!

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By AdrianLawrence
Mar 29th 2018 08:17 EDT

Networking is good as the feeling of isolation of being at the top can if we are not careful lead to a lack of engagement with peers and then the loss of learning from the experience of others. It has happened to me before, but you have to learn to break out of it.

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