Firm culture can either propel you towards achieving your goals or hold you back, there isn’t much middle ground. Firm culture can be described as the personality of your business, and it is embodied by you and your employees. Culture is often set as an example by the leaders of a firm, but it can be easily disrupted by a bad hire or an employee who does not fit with the rest of the team. As a leader in your firm, you should be thinking about what examples you set with your team as you make decisions, deal with conflict, and delegate.
An idea that we often hear when we start working with a firm is that the owner wants their team to be able to manage themselves with little oversight. Many firm owners want to work with people who can make decisions on their own without having to get approval from someone else. Sometimes those same owners will criticize or disapprove of decisions made by their employees, even when the decisions had little to no consequence on their clients or the firm as a whole. These owners are not embodying the culture that they say they want. If you want your team to self-manage, you must allow them to make decisions – even when you would have made a different decision.