Leadership Development

September/October 2000

Leadership Development


One of the biggest waves of need impacting on many firms is retention of good people … and development of those people into the next generation of leaders for the firm.

So far, ACEC’s “Senior Executive Institute” is probably the most intensive effort … requiring five sessions of roughly five days, over a two year time period for intense leadership training.  Some ACEC state organizations have developed their own leadership programs … typically with enthusiastic membership acceptance.  A few firms have begun a formal “Executive Coaching” process, in which they invest in ongoing effectiveness development for their cadre of current and upcoming future leaders.

Each effort can show measurable results.  Yet each offers only a piece of the picture.

Here’s a description of what some firms are planning that builds on these early efforts … and even goes a “step beyond.” The idea involves a three-pronged curriculum

Expansive Thinking.

One of the problems of office and project activity is myopia … seeing only short-term issues.  Those are the demands that are placed upon you … emails and voice mails and phone calls and myriads of other “brush fire” demands.  Leaders of firms need to develop their ability to look “down the road” … to identify trends that are shaping your marketplace, the arsenal of services you provide, and even how your firm is structured to respond to coming demands in automation or staff requirements.

Participants in the firm’s leadership development program (which include both existing leaders and the next generation, so they speak the same language) are required to take on special “trends readings”.  They consist mostly of articles, with an occasional book.  And it involves periodic (monthly-to-quarterly) discussion groups of two or so hours … talking about a specific trend, and the impacts that the trend might have for the firm.

New Skill Training.

Leaders need a variety of skills … both in leadership qualities and in how to run a successful professional practice.  The latter are typically more “business-based” … 

  • Profitability … which has financial aspects, marketing aspects, productivity aspects, quality aspects, etc.

  • Quality… which has liability aspects, profitability aspects, client relations aspects, marketing aspects, staffing aspects, etc.

  • Client relations … which has marketing aspects, profitability aspects, liability aspects, staffing aspects, etc.

Development of pure leadership qualities could include a focus on such items as:

  • Decision-making … which affects all aspects of a firm.

  • Group facilitation … getting groups from “three to thirty” to be able to achieve a true consensus decision … and in a timely way.

  • Conflict management … resolving differences between people within your firm – or between staff, clients, subcontractors, or third parties.

These are the kinds of skills not often overtly taught to leaders.  Some become skillful … through their upbringing or through the “School of Hard Knocks” and some never do become either skilled or comfortable in these areas … which often hurts the firm.

Executive Coaching.

This process is the most personal.  It’s individual, tutorial, concentrated efforts to help leaders develop new skills in a “real time” way.  Executive coaches typically …

  • Gather a number of behavioral measurements about the person being coached, to gain a “picture” of the person’s natural traits.

  • Conduct 360º feedback, from superiors, subordinates, colleagues, clients, and even spouse and “significant others … to get a sense of the person’s natural leadership strengths and weaknesses.

  • Coach the leader … through both in-person sessions and more timely in-depth phone dialogues … to help them develop specific behaviors that improve their effectiveness.

  • “Shadow” (observe) the leader, in action, and provide feedback afterwards about ways to handle the situation even more effectively.

Each of these three curriculum elements has demonstrated its ability to cause significant improvements in the effectiveness of leaders and upcoming leaders.  Virtually no one … either firm or professional society … has created a balanced curriculum for leadership development.  (Some are now starting.)  Yet, the strength of your leadership development program may be the best vehicle for retaining your best people.  And your leadership strength is probably the best indicator of your firm’s likely future success.

•     •     •     •     •     •     •     •

Mastering Client Service Management is a new under-one-hour video led by some of the best CSMs in the industry, of value to all your staff.  Enclosed is a description.

The Mandeville Legacy Workshop is a single-day, compact, hands-on training experience, coming to 9 cities this fall, for people in your firm who’ve never developed these essential skills.  It includes all aspects of Mandeville.  Look for a description soon.








“Going where no one has gone before”

is dramatic, adventurous, and …


As a friend once observed,

“Pioneers are people who have arrows in their backs!”

What if the Captain’s log from the Starship Enterprise were available to you?  To map out what outcomes lie where … and to alert you to perils along the way?  The westward expansion or space age pioneers who took the risks and blazed the trails, made the trip a lot easier and safer.  And they gave those who followed a lot greater certainty of the kinds of positive outcomes they could expect.

Marketing of professional services has evolved dramatically in recent years … particularly since the advent of the Total Quality Management movement.  Clients are increasingly making significant shifts in how they’re buying services.  We need to shift, as well.

While many firms worked hard just to survive the economic traumas of the past 18 years, some marketing pioneers “ventured where few firms had (formally or consciously) gone before.”  That was the birth of what’s now increasingly known as “Client Service Management.”  And these pioneers did pick up a few “arrows” along the way …

  • Some tactics worked much better than others.

  • Some people seemed to become much better Client Service Managers than others.

  • And strategies needed to shift as their relationship with each client system evolved.

They also struck gold!

And just as westward expansion pioneers blazed trails for others to follow … and as Captain Kirk kept a detailed log … some of the most successful pioneers in Client Service Management have blazed a trail for you, by chronicling both a total “CSM” process and scores of specific tactics they’ve used with considerable success

  • Dave Sturtevant, a Senior Client Service Manager, VP, and National Sales Manager at CH2M Hill, a 10,000+ person firm, helped develop the CSM process pioneered by his firm … as well as much of their CSM development training.  As you’ll learn, Client Service Management has led them into new services, new ventures, new levels of professional accomplishment, and new levels of profitability and growth.

  • Lynn Mays, a VP and Regional Business Development Leader at Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., a 1200+ person firm, has systematically applied CSM strategies to enter “Strategic” client organizations, and create an expanding, diversifying, and continuing stream of work.  And for smaller firms …

  • Jim Vierbicher, founder and CEO of Vierbicher Associates, an 85+ person regional firm from (greater) Reedsburg, Wisconsin, used his “CSM Guidelines” to refine his own natural instincts … and to bring solid and continuing growth and profitability to a more “down home” scenario.

  • Dr. Stuart W. Rose works with these firms, and hundreds of others, in developing Client Service Management systems and teaching specific techniques to professionals who are extending their careers into Client Service Management.  Because Stu works with so many firms in helping them evolve their business development practices, he’s also evolved a set of practical, yet all-encompassing “CSM Guidelines.”

Now you can learn, in a single video presentation, all six phases of Client Service Management … along with many examples of the most successful tactics … from Stu and from three successful Client Service Managers from three dramatically different firms.

Mastering Client Service Management”

It’s under an hour long, so it’s convenient to schedule … with minimal to no downtime.  And you can show it to everyone in your firm who has responsibility for or interest in Client Service Management.  That way, you can implement these new approaches in a way that has people fully in sync with one another … to maximize your results.

And what can you realistically expect for results?

  • Client Service Management gives you a greater flow of repeat work, over a longer period of time.  More comfort for you and your client.  And a significantly lower cost of sale.

  • A better sense about which of your people – in terms of personal style – may be best suited to being Client Service Managers.

  • A way to comfortably begin the Client Service Management process with new clients, without a single cold call (… hence the video’s subtitle!)

  • And a way to apply the process to all of your current clients, at whatever stage of relationship you have with them.

You’ll hear examples of how three pioneering Client Service Managers … with different firms sizes and characteristics, and with different personal styles … have survived the “arrows” … struck pay dirt … and have steadily begun to fulfill this video’s subtitle …

“Getting all of a client’s work, for years and years, without a single cold call.”

Your copy of this new video is only $97, complete.  It’s fully satisfaction guaranteed, so you have no risk, whatever.  Just use the request form below or phone PDR at (202) 362-0800.  Your copy of “Mastering Client Service Management” will be on its way to you within 24 hours.

Because of the trail blazed by these pioneers …

You’ll enjoy a safer and more predictable journey … with a richer, more comfortable, and more professionally and financially rewarding future for your firm.

Live long and prosper!

Trina C. Duncan, CEO

P.S.  If you don’t already have a copy of the other PDR single-sitting videos, “Finding, Winning and Keeping Clients” and “Project Management Communications”, you can add them to your request for only $77 each … over 20 percent below their normal cost.

Professional development is one of the biggest keys to retaining staff;  these video programs are one of the most cost effective ways to help you meet that need … and still meet project completion time demands.  Send for your copies … and see for yourself.

To Get Your Copy …

Please send _____ copies of:

Mastering Client Service Management;

Getting all of a client’s work, for years and years, without a single cold call.”

at $97 each, including shipping, to:

Name: __________________________________________________

Street address  (No P.O. Boxes): ________________________


City/State/Zip: _______________________________________

Phone: _______________________

__Enclosed is a check, paid to “PDR”

__Please charge:    ___MasterCard   ___VISA    ___ Am Ex

Number: ___________________    Expiration date:__________

Name on the card:________________________________________________

Also, please: ____send, for only $77 each:  ____send data about the videos: 

___ “Finding, Winning & Keeping Clients.”

___ “Project Management Communications.”



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