Leadership

How Not To Lead

Lately you’ve seen a few columns here on the topic of leadership: Namely, how to do it well. Invoking the equal time rule, today I want to talk about failed, misguided, and destructive leadership, using two examples from very different walks of life. The first, a CEO of a Fortune 50 firm, is a matter
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Practice Group Management

Do You Love What You Do? Really?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about leadership—something of a first here at Adam Smith, Esq., at least calling it out explicitly by that name—and the topic deserves revisiting and elaboration. My article took off from an HBR piece, Why You Lead Determines How Well You Lead, but it in turn relied on research
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Articles, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Strategy

The Elite Face-Off: NY vs. London

A famous former (and now late)  leader of the US House of Representatives, the classic Boston pol Tip O’Neill, supposedly remarked that “all politics is local.”  To that I would add MacEwen’s corollary, that “all rivalries are local.” In many ways, the leading candidate for most intense local rivalry in BigLaw is between London’s four
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Articles, Business Models, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Globalization, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Strategy

Why Are You Leading?

Implicit throughout virtually anything published here on Adam Smith, Esq. is leadership. As an issue, a challenge, a conundrum, and even a definitional challenge (what is “leadership”?). Because it’s pregnant in most everything, and because it’s perhaps the single topic leading most writers in business theory and management into recursive quagmires of tautologies and into
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Articles, Leadership

Change is neither good nor bad: It is

With this, his inaugural column, it is my great pleasure to introduce to our readers and clients Doug Caddell, who is formally joining Adam Smith, Esq. as a senior advisor (see the About Us page for more on Doug’s distinguished background). Doug brings over three decades of experience in strategy-focused technology leadership in our industry
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Articles, Knowledge Management, Leadership, Strategy, Technology strategy

The Age of Anxiety

We’re just back from a week in London—coincidentally smack in the middle of the UK firms’ earnings-release season—and for reasons far more profound than that annual roll call of bragging rights, the level of preoccupation with the future in the great City has never to us seemed higher to us. A telling, and extremely representative,
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

“Disruption:” Barbarians at the Gates?

Lots of loose language has been tossed about lately on the topic of “disruption,” and it may be time for a bit of perspective. McKinsey, never late to a trend, published Strategic principles for competing in the digital age a few weeks ago, noting that “Digitization is rewriting the rules of competition, with incumbent companies
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Articles, Business Models, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Strategy

The Hollow Middle Since 2008

I call it the Hollow Middle, but Knowledge@Wharton prefers “Disappearing Middle.” Here’s what, writing in their pages, the CEO of the Cambridge Group, identified as “a growth strategy consulting firm that is part of Nielsen,” has to say about it: The Great Recession forced consumers to drastically rethink their purchase behaviors and, even though many
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Articles, Branding, Client Relationships, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

The 5:1 Male/Female Partner Ratio

For those of you who may have missed it, we refer you forthwith to Brian Dalton’s latest column on Above The Law, “Is There a Business Case for More Female BigLaw Partners?” Anyone with a scintilla of conscience can only look at the information presented there with some combination of shame and dismay—if not despair.
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Practice Group Management, Recruiting, Strategy

What Does The AmLaw Second Hundred Tell Us?

Brief thoughts prompted by the release a few days ago of the AmLaw Second Hundred. These are firms ##101—200 in the AmLaw ranking, and by and large they’re regional shops based in secondary metropolitan areas, or small shops in primary cities, or specialists. First a few headline numbers just to set the stage: For these
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Leadership, Strategy