Clarify Partner Expectations

Two women talkingIt makes managing them easier.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Role of the Managing Partner

Over the years, during countless partner interviews, many have told me they aren’t sure of their role and what is expected of them.

MORE: How the Managing Partner Manages the Partners | Overarching Authority That Managing Partners Must Have | Exceptional Managing Partners Offer Their Advice | Why Management Is the #1 Key to the Firm’s Success | Herding Cats: Advice for Managing Partners
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Here is a basic, universal technique for improving performance and providing feedback:
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How the Managing Partner Manages the Partners

Silhouettes of three business partners talking against a window in an officeIt’s a people job.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Role of the Managing Partner

This is a saying I developed about partners that stands as tall today as it did 20 years ago: “As the partners go, so goes the firm.”

MORE: Overarching Authority That Managing Partners Must Have | Exceptional Managing Partners Offer Their Advice | Why Management Is the #1 Key to the Firm’s Success | Herding Cats: Advice for Managing Partners
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This means that the partners are the drivers of the firm’s success. To be sure, nonpartner personnel are critically important to the firm’s success, but nowhere near the level of the partners, who

  • Bring in the clients
  • Keep the clients
  • Help clients grow
  • Satisfy clients’ needs by cross-selling services
  • Mentor staff, helping them learn and grow
  • Embrace the firm’s core values and spread the word to others
  • Manage the firm and provide leadership to all

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Overarching Authority That Managing Partners Must Have

Senior businesswoman holding portfolio16 items that don’t require formal votes. 7 that do. And 25 best practices.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Role of the Managing Partner

There is no better way to start this post than with a quote by Tony Kendall, managing partner of Mitchell & Titus, a large CPA firm with offices in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and other cities. Tony said:

“I can’t manage this firm if I have to take a vote every time I want to make a decision.”

For managing partners to be effective, they must have the authority and flexibility to make decisions without first getting approval and without subjecting those decisions to the nitpicking and negativity that may occur when management decisions are open for debate and discussion.

MORE: Exceptional Managing Partners Offer Their Advice | Why Management Is the #1 Key to the Firm’s Success | Herding Cats: Advice for Managing Partners
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There are two caveats to this:
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Exceptional Managing Partners Offer Their Advice

Senior businesswoman studying proposalALSO: The job description in 14 points.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Role of the Managing Partner

I always tell new clients that I’m “one firm smarter than the last firm I worked with.” That’s because I learn something from each firm I work with, one of the great joys of my 20-year consulting career. I’ve worked with many of the most talented, accomplished managing partners in the U.S. and Canada and meticulously observed their style. No two managing partners are the same. Each brings a unique style or attribute to the table.

MORE: Why Management Is the #1 Key to the Firm’s Success | Herding Cats: Advice for Managing Partners
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As a result of these observations, I’ve pieced together the optimal job description for a managing partner, posted below. Though I first put this together 10-15 years ago, I fine-tune it every year as times change and differences in managing partner duties are observed.
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30 Best Marketing Practices

Illustration of marketing strategy
marketing concept with financial graph and chart

Don’t let the 80% derail the 20%.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

These best marketing practices are listed in a general order of effectiveness. However, every firm is unique. What works best for one firm may not work as well for others.

MORE: Entitled Rainmakers and Other Practice Development Errors | 13 Ways to Make the Most of Your Website | How Incentives for Business Development Should Work | Marketing Plans and Why You Need One | Working Business Development into Your Day
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  1. Have a vision for growth because it dictates the scope of your marketing activities. A marketing plan calling for 10 percent growth will need to be much more intense and aggressive than a plan for a firm content with 3 percent growth.

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Why Management Is the #1 Key to the Firm’s Success

Do you want to get by, or be the best possible?

By Marc Rosenberg
The Role of the Managing Partner

There are three critically important words in the title of this post:

  • Management
  • #1 key
  • Success

MORE: Herding Cats: Advice for Managing Partners
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This post drills down on each of these words to help drive home our central theme: why management is the single most important factor in a CPA firm’s success. It matters even more than bringing in business, more than having great clients and staff, more than doing quality work.
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Entitled Rainmakers and Other Practice Development Errors

Can retired partners stay involved? Only if it benefits the firm.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

This post explains the rock-solid link between bringing in business and partner compensation.

MORE: 13 Ways to Make the Most of Your Website | Five Social Media Do’s and Don’ts | Is It Time to Hire a Marketing Consultant? | How to Manage the Practice Development Function | Networking for Fun and Profit | 14 Marketing Activities Needed Now More than Ever | Now Is the Time to Activate Your Referral Network | The 4 Marketing Disciplines | Why You Have to Kill the Old Paradigms
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Here are the major factors firms consider in compensating partners:

  • Bringing in business
  • Managing a large client base profitably
  • Providing great service to your client base
  • Holding management and leadership positions in the firm
  • Nurturing and mentoring staff; helping them learn and grow
  • Living and breathing the firm’s core values

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Herding Cats: Advice for Managing Partners

Goldfish forming an arrow“Effective leaders get people to follow without making them feel they are being TOLD what to do.”

By Marc Rosenberg
The Role of the Managing Partner

“Few things are more important to human activity than leadership. It helps countries prosper. It makes businesses successful. Parents help children become successful adults.

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“The absence of leadership is equally dramatic. Without leadership, organizations move slowly, stagnate, and lose their way. We are taught that if decision-making is timely and correct, things will go well. Yet a decision by itself changes nothing. More important is implementation, and that’s where organizations often fail.

“Implementation is about how leaders influence behavior, change the course of events, and overcome resistance. Leadership is crucial in implementing decisions successfully.” – Quinn Mills, Harvard Business School professor

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13 Ways to Make the Most of Your Website

Woman on city train using tabletRecruiting. Recruiting. Recruiting.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

Every firm needs a website.

MORE: Five Social Media Do’s and Don’ts | Breaking It Down: Marketing Job Descriptions | How and Why to Hire a Marketing Director | How to Brand and Differentiate Your Firm | Why Consultative Selling Works | How NOT to Develop Your Practice | Does Your Firm Recognize All Its Skills? | 15 Powerful Niche Marketing Practices
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Here’s why: READ MORE →