4 things we love about Line of Duty’s Chief Superintendent Ted Hastings you could use to improve your management technique
01 May 2017
The fourth series of the BBC’s Line of Duty finished on Sunday evening with the usual bang. Now I’m not one of those people who award Line of Duty best thing since or second coming status but I do rather enjoy it, particularly the highly entertaining gaffer, Chief Superintendent Ted Hastings.
While his avuncular manner and Irish brogue might suggest he might be a bit of a soft-touch, don’t be fooled. This man is hewn from the hardest Ulster rock and is the mainstay of a team who, let’s face it, are there to perform a desperately thankless task.
As I watched the fast-paced twists and turned that took us towards Sunday’s conclusion I started thinking what a great man-manager he was. Then (as regular readers will be expecting) I thought what I could eke out of this in terms of getting this week’s blog written …. sorry, I mean in terms of highlighting improvements in the way you – as a solicitor patent or trade mark attorney, barrister or accountant – manage your marketing and business development.
Well, so as not to disappoint, here are the 4 things I took away and while they are written from a BD team perspective, 1-3 are definitely as applicable for any team management responsibilities you have or will have in the future.
Hastings can actually do the job and is always more than willing to get his hands dirty as and when required. He doesn’t delegate to avoid or hide behind his rank.
One of the objections we often come up against when we’re trying to get more junior lawyers, accountants and barristers enthused about marketing and business development is “well the partners don’t do any of this so why should we?”
Always lead by example; effective management can never a case of ‘do what I say not what I do.
Hastings splits every aspect of the investigation across his team. He gives out the jobs and then he trusts his team to get on with them, always on hand in case they need advice. Similarly the interviews always involve officers at every level, all performing different parts of the process, all making a contribution under the Chief Super’s supervision.
As a result he has a complete team, all totally capable and now all vying for promotion.
Nobody on your team will progress or make the level contribution they could (or should) if they’re not brought in, given a defined part to play and given the support and training required to play that part. Don’t be scared to bring people in; get the juniors members of your team into good habits early so they have the skills they’ll need to bring in work as their careers progress.
It doesn’t matter if the more junior members aren’t doing things that will actually generate direct opportunities today; it is about making sure they are totally comfortable with BD and know exactly what they need to do when they are in the position to generate new opportunities for your firm or Chambers.
3 Take responsibility
When he was rumbled by his senior officers for ignoring a direct order to abandon an investigation, CI Hasting immediate response was to say everything was his fault, that his officers were only obeying orders and that he’d take full responsibility.
Far too many people in managerial positions are still far too quick to take credit for their team’s successes and distance themselves from less successful BD initiatives. This will not endear you to your team nor will it engender the spirit you’re going to need to keep them onside as you work to achieve your collective objectives.
Your team ‘does’ BD on top of their day job so if you’re going to make sure they’re going to continue to find the required time, they will need to know you’re all in it together.
4 A crack shot
Come on, at least part of you would like to be able to take that shot, that quickly, under those circumstances!
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