As with each new year, this season offers many a sense of hope, excitement, and renewed energy. It’s a clean slate for setting goals, making plans, and getting organized. It can also be a time to reflect on where we’ve been, how we have (or haven’t) grown, and what we’ve learned from our experiences. We apply all this to what we commit to doing differently, or start doing, going forward.
Consider your goals and resolutions for this year. Is growth of some sort among them? Chances are it is, but depending on the role you play in your firm, and where you are in your career, your idea of growth may be very different from another’s. Gaining clarity on this will make it easier to shape your plans and strategies accordingly.
Here we will explore three typical growth perspectives among professionals, along with their related objectives. Keep these in mind as you continue to ramp up for the new year, giving thought to your own personal perspective on what growth means to you.
Perspective 1: Grow Your Firm
Top firm leaders typically consider overall firm growth a top priority. If you’re a managing partner or other firm-wide leader with growth responsibilities, this is likely your primary point-of-view. If you’re looking at things from this level, you face numerous pervasive challenges and barriers, both internal and external. Key objectives may include:
- Optimizing your firm’s overall growth capability – Identify and assess all aspects of your firm that impact its ability to grow. This includes the articulation of your vision and strategy and how well it is communicated and understood throughout the firm. Also examine your organization, processes, infrastructure, and accountability models. Focus energy and resources on optimizing each of these.
- Enabling your strategic practices to thrive and grow – Examine internal and external factors to Identify your firm’s highest-potential strategic practices, then channel sufficient human and financial resources to helping them dominate their markets.
- Igniting the careers that fuel your firm’s growth – Talent and relationships are the lifeblood of any firm, so it is essential to properly recruit, retain, develop, and motivate the best and brightest.
Perspective 2: Grow Your Practice
Perhaps you play a prominent role in an industry niche or service line and your focus is on growing your practice. At this level, you hold a prime opportunity to differentiate your firm and set the pace for growth by dominating your space in an otherwise cluttered marketplace. But rising to the top and staying there isn’t easy. Key objectives may include:
- Turning your industry niche practice into a growth machine – This requires recruiting the right players on your practice team to achieve a healthy balance of technical and business development skill. Then you must determine the best strategies for approaching the market and uncovering high-potential opportunities.
- Developing your team members into impact players – Acquiring the right players is not enough. Building a dominant niche practice requires continuous development of the team’s knowledge and skills. Consider implementing an intuitive sales process to keep the team focused, effective, and accountable to the business development effort.
Perspective 3: Grow Your Self
Alternatively, or in addition to the previous two perspectives, you may be focused on personal growth. Of course, developing yourself cascades out to helping grow your practice and the firm as a whole. However, this perspective is relatable to when the flight attendant tells us to put our mask on before helping others put on their masks. Key objectives may include:
- Accelerating your career – and your firm’s growth – Consider what “next level” looks like for you – Stronger results? Higher productivity? A new position? What will it take to get there? You have the potential to build a highly rewarding career while also developing yourself as a valuable asset for your firm. However, it often takes more than strong desire and instincts. Professional training, experienced coaching, and a proven, repeatable process can make all the difference between a good professional and a great growth leader.
- Joining a community of like-minded professionals – When we surround ourselves with successful people with whom we have common bonds, it makes us better as individuals. In this profession there are numerous communities designed for people with common situations and interests to network and share best practices. These include groups for managing partners, industry leaders, young professionals, technical specialists, and more. Find a group that fits your situation and get involved.
Does one or more of these perspectives resonate with you? Has your perspective changed recently – or should it? Whether you are striving to Grow Your Firm, Grow Your Practice, or Grow Your Self, The Rainmaker Companies can help with relevant advice and comprehensive resources (to learn more, click the link for each perspective). If you would like to discuss your situation with one of our experienced consultants, please Contact Us to schedule a complimentary phone consultation.
Executive Vice President