David L. Hackett, head of Buchanan’s Philadelphia office, was recently featured in a story in the Philadelphia Business Journal, where he profiled the leadership style of Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and how Hackett wants to apply those lessons to his leadership of the Philadelphia office. When Hackett was a senior at Duke in 1991, he was the student manager for the team and was able to observe the coach’s leadership style every game – a style he emphasizes that any leader at any organization can learn from.

He noted that Krzyzewski’s ability to adapt and adjust was what made him so successful, and he drew parallels to how law firms are pressured today more than ever before to adapt and do things differently.

“The days of clients accepting bills without questioning them are over, and firms and their leadership must work to find new ways to deliver value,” says Hackett. “The approach to talent acquisition has to change as well. With law school enrollments on the decline, top firms will have to make themselves more attractive than ever before to young lawyers and lateral recruits.”

Just as Krzyzewski knew that five players could accomplish more together than they could individually, Hackett describes the importance of cross-selling individual attorneys to create a stronger firm.

“The market continues to shift and shrink, so lawyers need to find new ways to work with others in their firm in order to drive new business,” explains Hackett.

Hackett also described the amazement he felt by the passion and vigor Krzyzewski brought to every game, despite being courtside for more than 1,300 of them.

“If I can be half the leader that Coach K is and carry on the lessons he’s taught me, it would be a tremendous accomplishment. If every leader takes these lessons to heart, their businesses will be better off for it,” summarizes Hackett.

Read the full article – “Leadership lessons I learned from Coach K” (Philadelphia Business Journal, March 9, 2016)