For Mr. Wittstadt, being a leader means to show, rather than tell, others how to do something in order to get the best result. Mr. Wittstadt also believes that in order to be successful, one must build a strong, dependable and stable management team.
After his law firm went through a merger, and the company went from 80 staff members to 450 employees, Mr. Wittstadt understood that far too often, big business can turn to micro management, and chase away quality members of one's team. Speaking with his partner’s, the company agreed that one way to combat a waste of employee and employer time with the inefficient micromanagement that is all too familiar in larger corporations was to boost the self-esteem of personnel. Mr. Wittstadt also believed that continued learning is indispensable for pushing forward to be interactive amongst the leaders in a company, and also the industry.
Mr. Wittstadt assumed the responsibility to develop a way to lead and develop a competent staff of over 500 employees to ensure the company was on the cutting edge of the best technology, had a wide spectrum of services offered to the clients, and also keep a large company with a family atmosphere. Not only did management have the challenge of acclimating two companies, but it also had the task of implementing an instantaneous flow of polices and processes to ensure nothing fell through the cracks.
Approximately 90% of the attorney’s and all management and team leads were given recognition for their talent and achievements in supporting the company in its quick growth when, along with his partners, Mr. WIttstadt invited them to the first annual summit held in downtown Baltimore. This summit was to develop the team through driving growth: in the market, through divulging the challenges faced, and by leveraging the opportunities in front of all of us.
During this weekend summit, Mr. Wittstadt encouraged team building amongst the national offices to work together to overcome any diversity, discuss day to day issues and come up with practical solutions. He also gave everyone the opportunity for a face to face with likeminded thought leaders in their own company. Mr. Wittstadt and his partners gave presentations on company growth, and had panel discussions in order to provide transparency throughout the company to our key players. As a whole, over 80% of the attendees reported they were satisfied with the summit and 89% found it useful for future practice.
After the summit held in Baltimore, the firm had its most progressive year. Employment jumped to 850 members and the company had its most profitable year. Mr. Wittstadt believed that the amount of talent in attendance at the summit provided not only peers, but also the partners, with new ideas and avenues to venture, and through that cooperation and teamwork, built a strong foundation for growth.
The following year, Mr. WIttstadt moved the summit to St. Petersburg in order to have a larger space to host our team building and recognition weekend. From the firm's growth, the firm was able to invite 100 attorneys, 25 managers and a handful of administrative staff members. The summit was functional and discussed the firm goals and how it could further develop not only the company but also management. Mr. Wittstadt made the decision to include the attorney’s in those firm goals to establish areas of positive growth and to obtain metrics on legal and professional development. The team building exercise of ‘building a boat’ compelled colleagues to work together towards a common goal while having an entertaining time.
By listening to concerns and opinions voiced by valued team members on these summits, the company became a family that cared for each member in the office as well as outside of work. Overall, the summitt had an 89% satisfactory return rate, and the new management teams between offices thenceforth had solidarity and open communication in order to solve any conflict externally and internally.
It had been imperative to cultivate a strong wheelhouse with resilient leaders from top to bottom and ensure an open door policy. After these summits, Mr. Wittstadt acknowledged that there would be conflict between the new management team and the old. There was constant conflict with the new managers and the old managers.
Essentially Mr. WIttstadt made the difficult decision to layer the old management team with the new because frankly, the older management team did not have the skill or experience to manage such a large company. After sessions discussing these conflicts and issues, the new management team stepped up; the tension in the office significantly dropped, and the firm wase able to move forward and accomplished meeting our year end goals.