What Makes Lawyers Tick?®

Tag Archives: Leadership

Toward Better Leadership: Self-Development, Focusing on Strengths & Accepting Flaws

Posted in Leadership, Performance, Strengths

This article first appeared on Tuesday May 17, 2016, on the Legal Executive Institute blog site, which is curated by Thomson Reuters. One of my favorite leadership books is The Extraordinary Leader by John Zenger and Joe Folkman. In this book, the authors offer a number of findings from their own empirical research about what makes… Continue Reading

Leading Like a Psychologist

Posted in Change Management, Engagement, Leadership, Organizational Behavior, People Skills, Performance, Positive Psychology, Uncategorized

This post was originally published at the Legal Executive Institute website, a ThomsonReuters site, on September 16, 2015:   In my conversations with law firm leaders, I am hearing more and more concern expressed about their partners failing to meet expectations. Here are some examples: “They’ve retired at their desks.” “Everyone’s focused on their own… Continue Reading

Tea Reading or Testing—What’s the Best Way to Hire?

Posted in Assessment, Feedback, Leadership, Personality, Selection

This post was originally published at the Legal Executive Institute website, a ThomsonReuters site, on July 29, 2015: Amidst the head-spinning change and the increased competition that all law firms face today, there is an increased emphasis on—some say a frenzy to—hire the best people. The cost of making a hiring mistake is growing, and… Continue Reading

Making Your Law Firm a Great Place to Work

Posted in Engagement, Leadership, Organizational Behavior, People Skills, Performance

This post was originally published at the Legal Executive Institute website, a ThomsonReuters site, on May 13, 2015: The Great Place to Work Institute publishes an annual list of the “100 Best Places to Work”. This year, 20 of the companies on the list are in the “Professional Services Firms” category. And of these, five… Continue Reading

Leading Lawyers: Your Most Potent Tool is Your Mindset

Posted in Change Management, Influence, Leadership, People Skills

This post was originally published at the Legal Executive Institute website, a ThomsonReuters site, on April 15, 2015: Are you a practicing lawyer who is transitioning into a leadership role? Whether it’s as a managing partner, practice group leader, office managing partner, or executive committee member—in all cases, to be effective as a leader, you… Continue Reading

Lawyers Are Skeptical — Can You Believe It???

Posted in Leadership, Personality

This post is a reprint of an article that I wrote for the ABA’s “Legal Career Central” website. It was originally published on November 15, 2015: The Lawyer Personality: Why Lawyers Are Skeptical I’ve been gathering data on lawyers’ personalities since the early 1980’s. Personality traits are typically measured on a percentile scale ranging from… Continue Reading

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

Accountability 101 – Part three

Posted in Accountability, Change Management

In a previous post (Accountability 101 – Part two) I mentioned that to achieve accountability on the part of partners, you need to: Use a buy-in approach. Avoid either coercive or “incentivizing” approaches. Be proactive, not reactive. Use multiple interventions, not just one. In this post, I want to address the third point, “Use multiple interventions,… Continue Reading

Accountability 101 – Part two

Posted in Accountability, Change Management

This is part two of a series of posts on partner accountability. To recap, in order to achieve accountability, you need to: Use a buy-in approach. Avoid either coercive or “incentivizing” approaches. Be proactive, not reactive. Use multiple interventions, not just one. In a previous post (http://www.lawyerbrainblog.com/?p=198), I explained the importance of the buy-in approach…. Continue Reading

Losing Weight and Keeping It Off

Posted in Self-Management

Although I usually write about leadership, change and resilience, today I want to address weight loss. I know it seems unrelated to the preceding topics, but there’s actually a connection, which we’ll get to in a minute. My main reason for writing this post is to respond to all of my clients and colleagues who… 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