find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Top partners better leaders: study

Top partners better leaders: study

A LAW FIRM’S top performers are those most likely to break the stereotype of the lawyer as a cold, calculating star performer, interested only in winning the case, newly released research…

A LAW FIRM’S top performers are those most likely to break the stereotype of the lawyer as a cold, calculating star performer, interested only in winning the case, newly released research suggests.

A top global law firm was the guinea pig for a recent study of the leadership styles of 33 partners. Hay Group researchers studied 13 high performing partners with 20 average performing partners, judged by the revenue they brought in, the strength of their client relationships, and their substantive skills. Each partner was assessed by those associates they had led on particular matters.

The study revealed that outstanding partners used a broader range of leadership styles than their average performing colleagues. The researchers identified six styles as being particularly popular, including what they termed directive, visionary, affiliative, participative, pacesetting and coaching. Almost 70 per cent of the outstanding performers used four or more of these styles, compared to 40 per cent of average performers.

Top performers were twice as likely to be affiliative, which included them expressing concern for individuals as people with personal needs, and not just as “revenue-generating billing machines”, the study revealed.

The best partners, however, drew on a directive style, by which they were five times as likely to give specific directions and demand immediate action. This was generally used by the top performers as one of a number of leadership styles, the study showed. These partners occasionally “barked” at associates, but also coached and involved them in processes.

But partners should be careful with the directive style, the research suggested. Average performers that used this style tended to use it more exclusively, which can intimidate and discourage associates.

There are no inherently bad styles, the head of Hay Group’s Leadership Development Practice in New York, Susan Snyder, said. “The directive style, though often perceived negatively, is very effective when used in critical, high-risk situations — and as part of a range of styles. The key is to use the appropriate style for the situation. When that happens, associates are more engaged and productive, and generate better results for the firm.”

Partners should increasingly use styles that drive performance long-term. Outstanding performers in the study were more visionary, and provided their teams with much needed perspective and context, the researchers said. As well, top performers were twice as likely to participate, and engaged associates and peers in important discussion and decisions. They were effective coaches and provided long-term development and mentoring, the research found.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Top partners better leaders: study
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...