Happy St Crispin’s Day – and Leadership Lessons

Happy St Crispin’s Day!

Probably the most famous event on the 25th October was the Battle of Agincourt. This is the speech that Shakespeare gave to Henry V before the battle. Great culture, and an even better demonstration of effective leadership. And surprisingly modern in selling a vision of what it will be like having won – not the immediate euphoria, but looking back and showing their scars with pride. Meanwhile those safe at home will think less of themselves.

I also spotted making limited resources a virtue, the “all in it together” appeal (peasant or king), and the appeal to the select nature of the group. How many techniques can you pick out?

The other battle on 25th October was that of Balaclava, best known for the Charge of the Light Brigade. The lessons from this?

1. Clear communication, so that subordinates know what they are expected to do (and do not charge up the wrong valley)

2. The virtue of doing the unexpected. The Brigade managed to capture the Russian guns they thought were their target, partly because the Russians could not quite believe it.

3. The importance of resources. If the Brigade had been reinforced where they were, the battle would have been different. Their losses largely occurred because they had to retreat from the valley, under fire from Russian batteries.

There is a third battle on this day, that of Leyte Gulf in 1944. No, nor me, but it was apparently the biggest naval battle ever.

Have a peaceful day.


Challinors Creditors to Lose Out

Not that this is entirely a surprise, of course. The Gazette reports on the present position here.

Baker Tilly, the administrators, make some interesting comments about the knock on effect of law firm failures on bank attitudes to lending, with Challinors being in part a victim of Cobbetts. The more fail, the more banks will see law firms as a poor risk.

The other snippet is that the firm was applying to be an ABS, but delayed the paperwork. This is understandable if the management was spending its time fire fighting, but the lesson is to get on with it.

I cannot help feeling sorry for the two clients who loaned substantial amounts to the firm. I only hope that they were advised to obtain independent advice.

Check Job Applicants, Even if Senior

A salutary story about Dennis O’Riordan, suspended from practice for 3 years by the Bar Tribunals¬†and Disciplinary Service in the Lawyer here. At some stage in about 2007 he claimed to have degrees from Oxford and Harvard, and to be a member of the New York and Irish Bars, which was not true. That untruth appears not to have carried through to his profile at Paul Hastings.

The lesson for law firms is to have a proper checking system for job applicants, including checking qualifications and credentials. And nobody should be so senior that they are excluded from checking.