Leadership For Lawyers-One or all?

Leadership For Lawyers-One or all?

If you are an owner or managing partner of a firm, do the math. One rainmaker (you), or all, (your entire team)?

If you are the only one bringing in clients, there are limitations to your time, energy and focus. Whereas, if you get your entire team engaged in business development, or bringing in clients, the opportunities for growth are far greater.

So how do you go from a ‘one-person show’, (you are the only rainmaker), to getting your entire team out there growing your firm?

  1. Get the right people on your team-that starts with hiring.
  2. Establish the ‘new way’ with your new people-leverage the competitive nature to encourage your current people to step up.
  3. Give your people the support and learning opportunities to develop new skills-that starts with investing in them.
  4. Reward this new behavior-create a comprehensive bonus structure, somewhat like ‘profit-sharing’ to reward your people when they succeed.
  5. Tell the whole world about your firm and your approach-this will help you to continue to attract the very best and brightest.

When you go from one ‘rainmaker’ to an entire team of rainmakers, watch your firm grow.

Law Firm Leadership

Law Firm Leadership

Law firm leadership is often talked about and has been for some time. Yet we still find very little progress on this front. If you’ve read my column before you will note a very practical, common sense and simple approach that I take with my clients. Keep it simple, because simple works.

When you set your people “free” you will be utterly amazed to find out what they are capable of achieving, hence the title. If you restrain them or try to keep complete control, they will not be as invested or motivated to contribute on a higher level. Engage them, empower them and inspire them to be a part of your plans — whatever those plans might be.

Read more here.

What does leadership mean to you?

What does leadership mean to you?

Think about a time when a leader really stood out for you. It could have been on a sports team, a teacher, public figure, manager, friend, or mentor. Do you remember why they stood out? Do you remember why you respected them so much?

Take a minute to write down the qualities that you admire or admired. Then write down how they made you feel. Did they inspire you do to better or your best? Did they teach your something valuable? Did they instill a feeling in you that you had potential and could achieve anything you wanted if you put your mind to it? Did they make you feel part  of the team? Did you feel they listened to you?

If you are in a leadership position, any position, take a look at your notes and then follow that approach with the people you are leading. And watch how they respond to you. You will be well on your way to taking your team, project, group or firm to an entirely new level.

The Dash-One of my favorite poems

The Dash-One of my favorite poems

The Dash

by Linda Ellis

“I read of a man who stood to speak

at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on her tombstone

from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth

and spoke of the following date with tears,

but he said what mattered most of all

was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time

that she spent alive on earth

and now only those who loved her

know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,

the cars…the house…the cash.

What matters is how we live and love

and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard;

are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left

that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough

to consider what’s true and real

and always try to understand

the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger

and show appreciation more

and love the people in our lives

like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect

and more often wear a smile…

remembering that this special dash

might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read

with your life’s actions to rehash,

would you be proud of the things they say

about how you spent your dash?”


How are you spending your Dash?


Are millennials lazy?

Are millennials lazy?

The ones I’ve worked aren’t. One of the challenges they face is not having role models that match their values. In the legal industry a lot of the very senior lawyers have not exactly led a healthy lifestyle. Overworked and stressed out most of the time, and many of them on their 2nd, 3rd or 4th marriages. They don’t seem happy.

Millennials don’t see this path for themselves. While they are fully committed to their career advancement, they also want to have a life. They are not willing to sacrifice their health or the pursuit of having at least some life balance to work more. That is not lazy, that’s smart!

Times are a changing. Values are changing. This is the way most people think of what they want from life these days. Given the fact that they are the talent pool, I feel more companies and firms need to more to address these concerns.

Another interesting point about Millennials is that they are hungry for knowledge. They are keen to learn and grow. If they don’t get this opportunity they are more likely to look for it elsewhere. The simple remedy is to provide ongoing opportunities for them to learn, grow, and challenge themselves.