Covid-19 and its implications for law firm stability is being experienced industry-wide. The fallout has many firms in full-on crisis. Reduced draws, layoffs or furloughs, expense reduction, stimulus loans have become an all too common part of the survival mix. Resorting to these tools can help little if strong leadership fails to rise to the challenge.
Law firms are people centric organizations that rely on attorney performance and loyalty to succeed. Keeping a firm’s people focused on their work and believing in the future is an important goal at any time, but especially when crisis abounds. Morale becomes critical if a firm’s rank and file are to believe all will be well and a path to normalcy exists. A firm leader that not only frequently explains the plan but shows the resolve to make it work can greatly boost morale. Simply put, a leader in crisis must be visible.
Holing up in your management bunker directing the firm’s response is the antithesis of leadership visibility. While focus on the crisis plan is fundamental, remaining shuttered is unhelpful. Attention to the task must be coupled with frequent and visibility centric communications to the troops. In this time of Covid-19 and forced isolation, things like video conferencing provides essential visibility and allows leadership to impart its message.
Visibility does a number of positive things. First, it demonstrates a leader’s confidence. Only confident leaders’ step into the lion’s den. Second, a confident leader instills confidence in others. Confidence is contagious. Third, with visibility comes interaction and information. Facts learned allows leadership’s time-sensitive adjustments to the crisis plan.
Under any circumstance, solving law firm crisis requires leadership’s visibility. Law firms functioning remotely are no exception.
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