Advice From Other Managing Partners – Leadership

By August Aquila
April 2019

While everyone learns by doing, we can certainly learn from others, especially those who have faced the same problem we’re now facing. Whether you’re a new leader or a seasoned one, these are some issues to consider and advice on how to deal with them:

  • Not addressing problems sooner rather than later – Too often, we wait too long to address an issue. We know what the solution needs to be, but we’re either afraid to decide or hopeful that the problem will resolve itself. Addressing issues sooner rather than later is perhaps the most often bit of advice that I hear from firm partners.
  • Spending too much time with partners who don’t want to change – Leaders often fall into the trap of trying to convince the naysayers in the firm and spend all their energy with them. They would be better off working with those partners who are in line with the firm’s vision.
  • Sticking with a failed plan or person – It’s critical to get the right people in the right seats at the firm. A service-line leader who is not producing or hasn’t produced needs to be replaced. A growth strategy that is not working needs to be changed or dropped.
  • Not getting your other partners involved – Any strategy needs the endorsement of key partners. You can’t go off to the mountain like Moses and bring back the plan. This becomes your plan and not theirs.
  • Failing to have specific goals for partners – Even partners won’t know what to do if you don’t clearly set measurable goals that are tied to compensation rewards.
  • Not communicating with complete clarity – Whenever you communicate with members of the firm, make sure that the message you send is understandable. What do you want the recipient of the message to know, do or take away?
  • Having hidden agendas – It’s important to be transparent and truthful. If your partners don’t trust you, no one else in the firm will.
  • Not playing the long game – While current results are important, don’t forget to look at the future for not only the challenges, but also for opportunities.

Remember, you’re not the only person facing these issues. They go with the territory. The issues are not the key concern, but how you react to them. Make the rest of 2019 the year in which you really excel.

About the Author: August Aquila is an internationally known speaker, consultant and writer. He can be reached at For more information, see




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