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When Professionals Have to Lead: A New Model for High Performance

Book Description

For too long, professional services firms have relied on the “producer-manager” model, which works well in uncomplicated business environments. However, today’s managing directors must balance often conflicting roles, more demanding clients, tougher competitors, and associates with higher expectations of partners at all levels.

When Professionals Have to Lead presents an overarching framework better suited to such complexity. It identifies the four critical activities for effective PSF leadership: setting strategic direction, securing commitment to this direction, facilitating execution, and setting a personal example. Through examples from consulting practices, accounting firms, investment banks, and other professional service organizations, industry veterans DeLong, Gabarro, and Lees show how this model works to:
• Align your firm’s culture and key organizational components.
• Satisfy your clients’ needs without sacrificing essential managerial responsibilities.
• Address matters of size, scale, and complexity while maintaining the qualities that make professional services firms unique.

A valuable new resource, this book redefines the role of leadership in professional services firms.

Table of Contents

  1. Praise
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Introduction
  8. 1 - From Virtual Management to Highly Demanding Clients
    1. Why a Fresh Leadership Approach Is Mandatory
    2. Size, Stress, and a Virtual, Global Marketplace
    3. Our Perspective and Purpose
  9. 2 - The Integrated Leader
    1. The Four Leadership Activities
    2. Setting Direction
    3. Building Commitment
    4. Ensuring Execution
    5. The Power of Personal Example
  10. 3 - Professional Service Firms
    1. The Practice-Based PSF
    2. The Corporate Model
    3. Revealing Contrasts
    4. The Strengths of the PSF Model
    5. Challenges of Managing a PSF
    6. PSF Leader Vulnerabilities
    7. The Problem of Size, Scale, and Complexity
  11. 4 - Product-Intensive Professional Services
    1. Product Intensity
    2. The Product-Intensity Continuum
    3. Where You Are on the Continuum Makes a Difference
    4. Operating in Multiple Spaces
    5. Migration of Services
    6. Additional Challenges
  12. 5 - Practice Segmentation
    1. Maister’s Spectrum of Practice
    2. Know What Practice Segment You Serve
    3. You Can’t Be All Things to All Clients
    4. The Relentless Pressure of Commoditization
    5. Practice Segmentation Today
    6. Strategic Implications of New Market Segments
  13. 6 - The Strategic Imperative
    1. The Need for Strategic Differentiation
    2. A Clear Point of Difference
    3. Which Services and How to Differentiate Them
    4. The Integrated Leadership Model
    5. Herbert Smith’s Real Estate Practice
    6. Aligning Business, Organization, and Talent
  14. 7 - The High-Need-for-Achievement Personality
    1. The Profile of the High-Need-for-Achievement Personality
    2. Motivational Drivers
    3. What They Need to Stay Motivated
    4. The PSF Paradox
    5. Integrative Leadership and Motivation
  15. 8 - The Essential B Player
    1. A Silent but Significant Majority
    2. Start Paying Attention to B Players . . . and Stop Them from Leaving
    3. The Cycle of Disenchantment
    4. Why It Pays to Have B Players
    5. Paying Productive Attention to Solid Performers
    6. Assumptions about the Contributions of Solid Performers
  16. 9 - The Challenge of Connection
    1. What’s at Stake
    2. Recognizing and Responding to the Right Questions
    3. The Dimension of Inclusion
    4. Occasions for Disconnection
    5. Keeping Professionals Intellectually and Emotionally Engaged
    6. The Constant Battle Against Disconnection
  17. Notes
  18. Index
  19. About the Authors