Insight Local Government Lawyer Insight December 2018 17 involve pinning motivational pictures to the wall. True leadership is about setting the example. Don't expect punctuality from your staff if you are consistently late for work. If someone up the management chain is not hitting their financial targets, how can you insist that your staff meet theirs? Like the captains of old, leadership has to come from the front. Anyone stepping into management for the first time will soon discover that it changes the way other people react to them. Yes - it's true. You may enjoy a good working relationship with your staff. But you are no longer one of the guys. You are now the face of authority. Ever wondered why the place goes quiet the moment you walk into the room? You need that emotional separation to manage effectively. If you were still 'one of the guys', how would you deal with the difficult situations which can blight managers' lives? It always disappoints me to see able colleagues pass up opportunities to take on management responsibilities. Many reasons are put forward. "I don't want the additional responsibility." "I'm happy as I am." "My work-life balance is too important to me." But if you've never taken the management challenge, how do you know what you are missing? Taking a management promotion is as much about self-development. You may think you have people skills - but it is only when you are managing a team of people that you are putting those skills to the test. Can you make a team which is already performing well, perform even better? As the new team leader, can you win the confidence of those clients, whom in the past have always been seen as 'difficult'? When you are in charge, there is no one else to blame. With the October 2013 merger of Sutton Legal Services into the new South London Legal Partnership, I took redundancy and early retirement. I thought that my management days were over. But I was wrong. After my severance terms had been settled, I took a two-month locum assignment with the Harrow/Barnet shared legal service, which has continued indefinitely. In September 2015 I was invited to take temporary charge of one of its two conveyancing teams pending the recruitment of a new team leader. Today, as someone at the back of a 45-year legal career, I am quite happy to step back. But I'll never have any regrets. V. Charles Ward currently works as a Senior Property Lawyer with HB Public Law. He is also a legal writer and author of Legal Profession: Is it for you? If you've never taken the management challenge, how do you know what you are missing? Taking a management promotion is as much about self-development. You may think you have people skills - but it is only when you are managing a team of people that you are putting those skills to the test.