Book | 2007

When Professionals Have to Lead: A New Model for High Performance

by Thomas J. DeLong, John J. Gabarro and Robert Lees


For too long, professional services firms (PSFs) have relied on the "producer-manager" model, which works well in uncomplicated business environments. However, today's managing directors must balance conflicting roles, more demanding clients, tougher competitors, and associates with higher expectations of partners at all levels. "Leadership in Professional Services Firms" presents an overarching framework better suited to such complexity. It identifies the four critical activities for effective PSF leadership: setting strategic direction, securing commitment to this direction, facilitating execution, and setting a personal example. Through examples from consulting practices, accounting firms, investment banks, and other professional service organizations, industry veterans DeLong, Gabarro, and Lees show how this model works to: align your firm's culture and key organizational components; satisfy your clients' needs without sacrificing essential managerial responsibilities; and address matters of size, scale, and complexity while maintaining the qualities that make professional services firms unique. A valuable new resource, this book redefines the role of leadership in professional services firms.

Keywords: Leadership; Management Practices and Processes; Service Operations; Performance Effectiveness; Strategy;


DeLong, Thomas J., John J. Gabarro, and Robert Lees. When Professionals Have to Lead: A New Model for High Performance. Harvard Business School Press, 2007.