We are seeing a transition right now. More and more firms are finally making the switch from the long-time, baby boomer managing partner to a younger, less experienced managing partner.
It is a very difficult time for both of the people involved, and the firm, in general.
The outgoing MP struggles with relevancy and a long list of other important decisions about what to do with their remaining working years. But don’t ignore the challenges being faced by the new guy/gal.
One thing to remember is, as the managing partner of a growing, profitable firm, it is important to always be thinking of how you are spending your time.
One dilemma the new managing partner faces is how much time to continue to spend on client work and how much time do they really need to devote to actually managing the firm.
The MP should definitely keep a reasonable amount of client service work. How much varies. Much of this decision relates to the size of the firm.
Smaller firms require less management time and the MP should utilize a qualified office manager. Midsize and larger firms, of course, should have a professional firm administrator or COO who handles all administration and daily operations so that the managing partner can focus on coaching the other partners, being the community face and voice of the firm, and bringing new business to the firm.
For all firm partners, it is important to always focus on the important work. For line partners that means client relationships, nurturing team members and bringing new business to the firm.
Partners should not be doing manager work. Managers should not be doing senior and staff work. And, seniors and staff should not be looking for work.