I have long believed that being a leader is critical to succeeding in business development. For more on why that’s true, check this 2009 post.
Michael Hyatt’s blog post The 5 Marks of Authentic Leadership outlines five key aspects of leadership, which include:
While Hyatt’s post does not focus on the intersection of leadership and the ability to generate new business, each of his five marks reflects a capacity that is necessary for successful business development. For example, Hyatt describes a leader’s insight in this way:
Leaders need wisdom and discernment for the present. They need to be able to look at complex situations, gain clarity, and determine a course of action.
This insight is, of course, a foundational skill for success in practice, but it applies equally well to business development. Effective business generation tactics will include a display of this wisdom and discernment whether in person-to-person conversation, in which case the comments will be at least somewhat specific to the potential client or in an article or presentation, in which case the comments will focus more generally on a specific legal issue or on a particular client profile. Your legal and, where applicable, business insight is valuable for clients and for developing new business.
As we emerge from Covid and quarantine and move toward business as new-normal, leadership becomes even more critical. How might you deploy Hyatt’s five marks in the context of evaluating shifts in opportunity for your clients and yourself in light of the changes prompted by the pandemic? None of us has a crystal ball, but when you can bring insight to the table to influence the generation of new initiatives and create new impact, all in the context of high integrity, your leadership will affect your clients and your own business.
For an example of how one consulting firm is exhibiting this kind of leadership in a way that’s calculated to develop business, check Korn Ferry’s The Covid-19 Leadership Guide. While your efforts need not (and perhaps should not) culminate in an 89-page glossy report like Korn Ferry’s, you can get some ideas of how you might serve your clients by seeing how Korn Ferry has approached this leadership opportunity.
Read Hyatt’s post and ask yourself whether and how your business development activity reflects each of his 5 Marks of Authentic Leadership. Which do you need to amplify as your business community works to build a new post-pandemic normal?