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More advice has been written about leadership than just about any other topic in the social sciences. My clients often ask me if I can distill this leadership wisdom into a very short synopsis that’s tailored to lawyers in senior leadership roles. I’ve resisted doing this because there are so many good books on leadership (although very few of them address leadership in law firms). If you want to dig into that literature, start with…
This blog post was originally published at the Legal Executive Institute website, a ThomsonReuters site, on December 19, 2016  (http://tinyurl.com/futurelawyer): We in the legal profession — especially those of us in Big Law — have always been very clear about our criteria for what kind of lawyer we’d like to hire. Indeed, there’s nearly universal agreement that we want someone who’s smart; and then we look for the indicia of a strong analytical ability,…
These two podcasts were originally published at the Legal Executive Institute website, a ThomsonReuters site. Podcast #1 discusses why change is hard for lawyers, and Podcast #2 discusses what you can do about it. I was recently interviewed by Gregg Wirth, the Content Manager for the LEI blog site. On July 18th, 2016, he interviewed me about the psychological consequences of incessant change on lawyers and their performance. Here is the introductory blurb from the…
This blog post was originally published at the Legal Executive Institute website, a ThomsonReuters site, on September 20, 2016: Law firms are struggling these days to do a better job of retaining their Millennial lawyers. Millennials famously have less loyalty and a shorter time frame before jumping ship than any previous generation. Is this a baked-in problem, or can something be done about it? According to research by the Gallup Organization and others, there are definitely…
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 leaders effective, i.e., what makes constituents actual follow leaders. One of their principal conclusions is that constituents follow leaders who…
  This article originally appeared in the March 2016 Ethics Corner column of the ABA online publication Business Law Today: Can ethical behavior be taught? Most definitely. The social sciences have yielded several principles and practices that can aid law firm leaders in shaping desired ethical behaviors. Following are seven suggestions, based on this research, that can help:…
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 the consequences of doing so take effect even sooner than before. Many law firms are re-examining their approach to talent…
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 are law firms. This is the first time that law firms have represented fully a quarter of those spots, and…
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 need to make a significant shift in your mindset in several ways. First, many lawyer-leaders default to the role of…