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Leadership amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Leadership amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

What we are going through collectively and on a global scale, we have no precedent for. It’s surreal. It’s big. And it’s impactful. It is unprecedented that such social distancing, layoffs and daily rule and regulatory changes have taken place.

So how can we help? Take a deep breath.

Read the full article here. 

This article was originally published by The Lawyer’s Daily (www.thelawyersdaily.ca), part of LexisNexis Canada Inc.

Leadership For Lawyers-Creating a culture of ‘Client 1st’

Leadership For Lawyers-Creating a culture of ‘Client 1st’

As a law firm leader, one of your greatest challenges is managing the competing interests of your people. You have various generations, roles, a distinct hierarchy, egos, personalities, and there is always human nature. The challenge? Bringing everyone together, on one team, all going in the same direction, and with one purpose-serving your clients.

One solution is to get everyone focused on one common goal-your clients! The way to do this is to instill a way of being that, ‘no matter what’, the client comes first. To begin this process bring your people together. Encourage them to leave their egos at the door. Everyone on your team has an important role in serving your clients. Forget titles and rank, job descriptions and seniority. The purpose of this session will be to brainstorm on improving efficiencies and workflow between ALL members of your team.

The new way of ‘being’: As your people move through their day and are working on client files, the 1st action you want them to take is to ask themselves this question, “How can I help you, help me, help the client?”

I’ve seen a lot of so-called team building seminars and workshops. While they focus on theoretical approaches, this one focus, this one goal, ‘Client 1st Always’, will do more to bring your team together than any ‘fluffy’, ‘feel good’ intellectual exercise.

I liken this approach to a well-functioning sports team or political campaign. When everyone has one singular and common purpose, it does wonders to strip away the competing interests, egos, and hierarchy. Everyone has one thing in common with each other; providing the very best service to your clients.

Leadership For Lawyers-Winning the talent war

Leadership For Lawyers-Winning the talent war

As a law firm leader, to positively impact the successful growth of your firm, you have to have the ability to attract and keep top-level talent. Whether it be at the junior stage with students and young associates, mid to senior associates, or high-value lateral partners, the approach is the same. Follow these five steps and you and your firm will garner a reputation as ‘THE’ firm to work for in your market.

  1. Recruitment- “Get the right people on the bus”-one of my favorite lines in the book, “Good to Great”, by Jim Collins. When you start at the beginning and get the right people, you are setting your firm up for future success. There will be less pushing and pulling, more teamwork and focus on client service, and your job as a leader will be far more enjoyable and lucrative.
  2. Properly on-board them: I find this component to be missing or dreadful at best in most firms. However you attract your talent, doesn’t it make sense to provide them with everything they need to get a good head start upon landing?
  3. Continue to support their development: Continued success means continued development. Think like a tech firm, constantly investing in innovating their products. Your product is your people.
  4. Market the hell out of it- Make sure the whole world knows about it. This is really about becoming known as ‘the’ firm to work at.
  5. Repeat- When you follow the first 4 steps above, each time you go through the cycle your ability to attract and keep top-level talent will increase.

There are so many benefits of following this formula; savings from higher retention rates; improved client satisfaction; firm growth, and higher profits.

Keep reading as I offer more insights for law firm leaders here in the weeks to follow.

You may also be interested to follow the ongoing series on The Lawyers Daily entitled “Building a Successful Law Firm”. I offer this in collaboration with Lisa Dawson and Mayur Gadhia. We have formed a Law Firm Leadership Alliance From start-up to wind up, we bring leadership expertise in Finance, Business Administration, Taxation, Risk Management, Cloud and Technology, IT Decision Making,  Human Resources and Full Cycle Talent Management, Executive, Associate and Support Staff Leadership Coaching, and much more.

Here is a link to the intro article published in TLD. 

Leadership for Lawyers-building your team

Leadership for Lawyers-building your team

You don’t have to be the Managing Partner to be a great leader. I have clients at various levels within their firms that are demonstrating great leadership.

One of the critical components of becoming a great leader is how you build your team. It comes down to this-don’t try to be all things to all people. Know your strengths, what you’re really good at, what you’re not good at, and what you don’t like. Then fill your team with people that compliment your strengths by filling in the holes around what’s missing.

Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you are the BEST person to do it. If that action pulls your time and energy away from the things you are good at and that will help your grow your practice and firm, it just doesn’t make sense.

I always conduct a SWAT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis with my clients. There is one school of thought that you shouldn’t waste too much time and energy on improving your weaknesses, you should focus on your strengths. When examining the weakness component of this analysis, I help my clients determine if by improving weakness, it will add to strengths, or take another approach.

Often it’s just best to get people around you who complete the puzzle. I use the word ‘puzzle’ intentionally because most lawyers find the concept of HR ‘puzzling’. Like many other components of business, law schools are short on the instruction of Human Resources.

So as you are building your team, concentrate on the skills, experience and knowledge that you, yourself, lack or don’t really care to improve on. Then, find the best people to fill these voids. The puzzle will come together with a lot less effort and stress. In the end, you will have the best people in the best roles producing the best results.

This is part one of a series I am doing on Leadership for Lawyers. You can also follow a series on The Lawyers Daily entitled “Building a Successful Law Firm”, that I am collaborating on with Lisa Dawson and Mayur Gadhia. We have formed a Law Firm Leadership AllianceFrom start-up to wind up, we bring leadership expertise in Finance, Business Administration, Taxation, Risk Management, Cloud and Technology, IT Decision Making,  Human Resources and Full Cycle Talent Management, Executive, Associate and Support Staff Leadership Coaching, and much more.

Here is a link to the intro article published last week, TLD.