New podcast reveals the secrets of leadership in a professional environment

Podcast series brings together research and experience to explore the challenges of leading professional people

Professor Laura Empson, Professor of the Management of Professional Service Firms and David Morley, former Global Senior Partner of Allen & Overy and now Visiting Professor of Practiceat the Business School (formerly Cass), have launched a new podcast series.

‘Empson & Morley - Leading Professional People’ brings together cutting-edge theory and first-hand professional experience to answer critical questions about leadership in the professional services sector.

In addition to insights from Professor Empson’s 30 years of research and Mr Morley’s extensive experience of leading one of the world’s leading law firms, the series will feature leaders from some of the world’s most successful global professional organisations, including McKinsey, KPMG and Allen & Overy.

Professor Empson, author or Leading Professionals: Power, Politics and Primadonnas, said the podcasts were aimed at current and aspiring leaders of professional organisations who want to challenge assumptions, develop explanations and explore new solutions.

“The Leading Professional People podcast series is designed for those occupying leadership roles in law, accountancy, consultancy, healthcare, banking, higher education and other service sectors,” Professor Empson said.

“The pandemic has created multiple challenges for leaders. The series combines rigorous research with first-hand accounts from experienced and prestigious guests from across the professional sector to provide insights and expert guidance”.

Laura Empson and David Morley

Mr Morley, now a leading strategy and leadership consultant for professional service firms said leadership of professionals required a uniquely complex set of skills.

“Across the last 12 months professional organisations have had to adapt both internally and externally to rapidly changing circumstances”, Mr Morley said.

“Many will have had to oversee a switch to remote services and a new way of working for the first time.

“Leading Professional People brings together senior leaders from both academic and non-academic backgrounds to provide discussion and guidance on the realities of everyday leadership.”

Empson & Morley – Leading Professional People is available to listen to and download on all major podcast platforms. New episodes will be released fortnightly from Monday 11th January.

In Episode 1, Professor Empson and Mr Morley explore the paradoxes of leading professional people, including the paradox of autonomy and control. This includes influencing and managing followers who do not like being told what to do.

About the authors

Professor Laura Empson has been conducting academic research into professional organisations for more than 25 years.

She is Professor in the Management of Professional Service Firms at the Business School (formerly Cass), and Senior Research Fellow at Harvard Law School. She also acts as an advisor to many of the world’s leading professional organisations.

David Morley led global law firm Allen & Overy between 2003 and 2016. Under his leadership, the firm expanded internationally, and revenues doubled from £652 million in 2004 to £1.31 billion in 2016.

He left Allen & Overy in 2016 after 36 years and now consults on strategy and leadership of professional service firms.

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