The Changing of the Guard: Selecting Your Next Firm Leader 2nd Edition

Fully revised and updated in 2017, with exclusive NEW content and even more contributions from current firm leaders, the second edition of The Changing of the Guard: Selecting Your Next Firm Leader is packed with useful exhibits, thought-provoking questionnaires, and advice direct from new, current, and past firm leaders, this is a straightforward, step-by-step guide to leadership succession planning, which will help firms establish what they want their future to look like – and find the best person to lead them there. 

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Details

  • Publication date: March, 2017
  • Pages: 175
  • ISBN: 978-1-78358-280-8

Description

When a firm leader leaves suddenly, the firm can be thrown into chaos. Even when the leader’s departure is predictable, as in the case where their term is reaching an end, numerous uncertainties remain (such as the identity of an appropriate successor) that, if handled poorly, can have a major negative impact on the firm’s performance. 

Firms need to be aware of this phenomena and take appropriate steps to ensure they have a controlled and effective succession process in place that minimizes the inevitable “disruption time”, and leads to the eventual appointment of the most qualified candidate for the job.  

An Added-Value Offer Providing a Return that Exceeds the Cost of This Publication:

As many firms can be very different in the finer details of their Leadership Succession process usually resulting either from firm tradition or specific terms in the partnership agreement, the purchase of this book entitles you to a one-hour telephone consultation* (value: $800 U.S.) with the author to address any questions you may have about your particular firm’s leadership selection efforts.

Fully revised and updated in 2017, with exclusive NEW content and even more contributions from current firm leaders, the second edition of The Changing of the Guard: Selecting Your Next Firm Leader is packed with useful exhibits, thought-provoking questionnaires, and advice direct from new, current, and past firm leaders, this is a straightforward, step-by-step guide to leadership succession planning, which will help firms establish what they want their future to look like – and find the best person to lead them there. 

Reviews

"Patrick J. McKenna’s latest book, The Changing of the Guard: Selecting Your Next Firm Leader, may be the most comprehensive text on law firm succession ever written, covering every priority from choosing a nominating committee to defining leadership criteria."

"It's worth highlighting some points that McKenna makes in his thorough and informative guidebook. And that's really what it is; a succession bible. He really covers all the bases from selecting a nominating committee with the right composition and setting selection criteria for the next leader, to developing and implementing a transition and integration plan to usher out the former chair or managing partner gracefully and usher in the new one.  And, he offers guidance on all of the many steps in between."

"The biggest value of The Changing of the Guard is the way it helps show how best to pass the leadership baton. To use another metaphor, it serves as a beacon to navigating through the rocky waters of succession planning."

Stephen T. Taylor

Senior Editor of Counsel

The Legal Practice Management Report (Vol 34. No.6. June 2015)

Contents

This book will help you to:

  • Consider your firm’s current situation – Which of five key typologies does your firm fall into (successful, complacent, stagnating, distressed, unsettled)?
  • Identify the disruptive trends and developments most likely to impact your firm – What do you expect your future to look like?
  • Use this information to identify the skills required of the leader who can take your firm forward. 
  • Choose the best process for your firm to nominate, interview, and select your next firm leader.  

Based on the expertise of an author who has decades of experience advising the leaders of premier professional service firms around the globe and acknowledged in American Lawyer magazine as “a long time succession consultant and coach to new firm leaders” this book will help you answer key questions such as

  • Should you set term limits for your new leader? 
  • What tools and resources will they need to be successful in the job? 
  • How do you measure a firm leader’s performance, and how should you compensate them or hold them accountable? 
  • What points should you consider when you select co-managing partners?

Through the author’s exclusive research, and work with professional service firm leaders, you will also discover:

  • How successful long-term leaders recharge their batteries and maintain momentum; 
  • Characteristics that managing partners think make an effective managing partner; 
  • What experience/background is most helpful when taking on the position of leader; 
  • What are the most significant challenges encountered by firm leaders; and
  • How long leaders say it takes to reach optimum effectiveness in the role. 

This report also includes:

  • 15 pragmatic “how-to” chapters;
  • 12 useful appendices covering topics as diverse as understanding what it takes to become a firm leader, to the delicate dynamics involved if you select co-managing partners, and advice from new firm leaders; and
  • 20 key exhibits that can be tailored to your own firm, including nominating committee terms of reference, various sample internal memoranda, examples of firm leader evaluation criteria, and sample candidate interview questions.

Finally, The Changing of the Guard also includes exclusive interviews with:

  • Stephen J. Immelt – Hogan Lovells;
  • Vincent A. Cino – Jackson Lewis;
  • Carter G. Phillips – Sidley Austin;
  • Timothy E. Powers – Haynes and Boone; and
  • Kim Koopersmith – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

On the succession process within their firm which highlight the challenges these leaders faced and advice for firms about to embark on a similar process

Full Contents and Summary

Authors

Patrick J McKenna
Patrick J. McKenna is an internationally recognized author, lecturer, strategist, and seasoned advisor to the leaders of premier professional service firms, and he has also had the honour of working with at least one of the largest firms in over a dozen different countries. Patrick is the author of numerous books, most notably his international business bestseller, First Among Equals (currently in its sixth printing and translated into nine languages). His consulting expertise was acknowledged in 2008, when he was identified through independent research compiled and published by Lawdragon as “one of the most trusted names in legal consulting”, and his three decades of experience led to his being the subject of a Harvard Law School Case Study entitled ‘Innovations In Legal Consulting’ (2011). One example of that innovation was his launching the first instructional program designed to specifically address the issues that new firm leaders of larger firms face in their first 100 days – which has thus far graduated over 70 new leaders many from AmLaw 100 and 200-sized law firms, as well as from notable accounting and consulting firms. He is the only expert in professional service firms admitted to the Association of Corporate Executive Coaches, the #1 US group for senior level CEO coaches; and was acknowledged in 2014 by The American Lawyer magazine as ‘a long time succession consultant and coach to new firm leaders’.

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