Business leaders across the globe, from big and small companies, and a diversity of markets are facing an incredibly uncertain time. We’re living and managing through a global pandemic, and nobody knows when the economy will reopen, stabilize, and revitalize.
So, what do we do as managing partners or sole practitioners in the legal field? How do we handle these unforeseen circumstances?
Achieve Emotional Balance
So, first, we breathe. We take a moment or two and collect our thoughts and calm our minds. The most important thing that your staff can see right now is a collected and confident leader. Your attorneys and staff are also feeling the effects of the uncertain time and will look to you for leadership.
Keep your communication open with your team and check in on how they’re feeling and handling the times. Accept that this is a uniquely stressful situation and work together with your team to manage emotional balance and drive the company forward.
Focus on the Mission
At this point, you and your firm know what your primary goal is. What is it that drives you and your law firm forward? Whatever that goal is, it shouldn’t change because of the uncertain market conditions. Your steps towards achieving that goal might have to be altered, but the goal itself remains.
The goal of your law firm now serves as your litmus test for every step you take through the uncertainty. Remind your team what that mission is: to serve your clients to the very best of your ability. Remind them why you are doing what you are, and continue moving forward - even if that looks a little different than it did before.
Whatever your practice area or areas may be, whatever unique value proposition you and your lawyers provide - keep providing it. Your clients need a sense of sameness, of normalcy, and you can bring that to them by continuing to provide the same capable, qualified representation as they had before.
Embrace and Adapt to the Short Term
While your overall mission stays the same, making big changes might not be practical right now. If you were planning on making major alterations to the way your firm does things, take a minute and think about whether it’s necessary for keeping afloat and moving forward.
Ask your mentors or peers. Reach out to other attorneys and ask them how they’ve adapted to this situation. Have they changed their marketing strategies? Have they adjusted their staff size? What have they done to protect their firm?
What can you reasonably accomplish in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days that will help you move towards your primary goal and not bog down your work productivity or revenue? This can be a time for new ideas and strategies, giving you and your law firm new inspiration and energy! Embrace it.
At the End of the Day
We don’t know when this will end. Take comfort in the fact that this market uncertainty is affecting everyone, in every industry. You’re not alone. Remember your primary purpose, ensure your emotions don’t get in the way of that purpose, and work with others to find short-term strategies that will keep your law firm moving in a positive direction.