The secrets to building a successful team include nurturing talent from within the organisation and fostering a commitment to personal training and development. Not my words: I paraphrase Govan's own Sir Alex Ferguson delivering a leadership lecture at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow earlier this week.
And while one of the most respected and successful managers in football was giving his views on what he thinks has made him successful in the world of sport, he could just as easily have been offering management advice in the boardroom of a multinational or back room of a small business start-up. Or to a law firm. After all, the principle of effective team building applies to businesses, legal practices included, as much as it does to the world's top football sides.
It is a principle at the heart of the Society’s Registered Paralegal scheme, launched in partnership with the Scottish Paralegal Association last autumn and already past its initial target of 100 members. Announcing the membership figures yesterday, the convener of the Registered Paralegal standing committee, Douglas Russell, touched on the importance of personal development and building a team that brings all-round benefits – to paralegals, solicitors and clients.
As he put it, the innovative scheme – which requires paralegals to meet entry standards, follow a code of conduct, undertake continuing professional development and adhere to a complaints regime – enhances career opportunities and offers well-deserved recognition for an emerging profession. At the same time, solicitors can take comfort from the fact that those under their supervision are working to high standards. Clients, meanwhile, are provided with additional reassurance that their legal affairs are in safe hands.
The early success of the Registered Paralegal Scheme suggests it has hit on a winning formula. Sir Alex, I imagine, would approve.Lorna Jack is Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland