What Makes Lawyers Tick?

Category Archives: Leadership

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The Psychologically Savvy Leader

Posted in Change Management, Leadership, Organizational Behavior, People Skills, Resilience, Self-Management

In talking to law firm leaders these days, what I am hearing most frequently are their concerns about disruptive change and its impact on their ability to maintain a profitable and competitive firm. One consequence of this increased focus on change is that rank-and-file partners are being asked to do more with less—to take on… Continue Reading

We need a Chief Resilience Officer

Posted in Change Management, Leadership, Positive Psychology, Resilience

As I’ve talked with law firm leaders over the past six months, increasingly I’ve heard them describe a troubling list of symptoms that they’re seeing in their lawyers. In their own words, here’s what they’re observing: Malaise, complacency, burnout, an attitude of hopelessness, weariness, a “giving up” mindset; Increased conflict; not playing nicely in the… Continue Reading

Succession Planning for Baby Boomer Leaders

Posted in Leadership

Baby Boomers are beginning to retire. In the legal profession, one microcosm of that trend is that managing partners are beginning to retire. In the old days, managing partners were mainly full-time lawyers who also carried out administrative responsibilities part-time. But in more recent years, the role has grown into a full-blown leadership role with… Continue Reading

Supercharging Multi-Rater Feedback

Posted in Assessment, Leadership, Self-Management

This is the time of year when a lot of law firms administer multi-rater feedback surveys—these can include “360-degree feedback” or simply “360’s”, as well as peer reviews and upward evaluation surveys. What they all have in common is that an individual receives feedback from multiple raters. Multi-rater surveys can accomplish several goals at the… Continue Reading

Why Skeptics Make Good Lawyers and Lousy Leaders

Posted in Leadership

I recently finished conducting a 6-month-long “Action Learning” leadership program with a mid-size law firm. The idea is to train lawyers to be leaders by actually placing them into real live leadership situations, and teaching through experience, instead of using a “death by Power Point” approach. At the end of our capstone meeting, one of… Continue Reading

Why Leaders Need Empathy and Flexibility

Posted in Leadership

When I design a leadership course for a law firm, I usually include an assessment component. Effective leaders need to be self-aware–they need to understand their strengths and weaknesses, their possible blind spots, and the style of leadership to which they gravitate. To gain this kind of insight requires feedback. The two most common types… Continue Reading