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Why being a visionary leader is critical in times of dynamic change “What leaders struggle with most is communicating an image of the future that draws others in – that speaks to what others see and feel.” – James M. Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors of “The Leadership Challenge” As part of my leadership coaching practice, I often ask lawyers to take a 360 leadership assessment.  The lawyer asks those that they work with – other attorneys,…
One of the reasons design thinking has been slow to catch hold in legal is that some of the underlying mindsets are counter-intuitive for lawyers.  It is not that lawyers can’t embrace and practice these mindsets.  Rather, their training, incentives and environment have often encouraged the opposite attitude or behavior that is needed to innovate in this way.   I facilitate Design Thinking for Legal© workshops for lawyers, legal professionals and legal operations leaders in law firms and…
Nat Slavin is a partner in the Wicker Park Group, a consultancy focused on helping law firms strengthen and deepen their relationships with in-house counsel through client feedback and other client facing programs. Nat has met with more than a thousand law firm clients – in-house counsel, chief legal officers, legal operations executives and business leaders – getting feedback on what drives the most successful relationships and greatest client loyalty. What do clients want from their outside counsel? Nat…
How do you prepare new managers to be effective leaders? Many corporations have comprehensive training programs for new managers, but law firms have typically not offered specialized training for new staff managers or lawyers who transition from sole contributors to managers of staff, deal or matter teams.  This is beginning to change, with more firms dedicating training and professional development resources for new managers. New managers face a number of leadership challenges when they take…
The legal profession, marketing technology, and clients’ buying habits are changing dramatically. Lawyers need to think differently about marketing, lead generation, big data, project delivery and leadership. Here are 10 things that should be on your radar, starting now. 1. Data-driven business development. At the 2016 Legal Marketing Association Technology Conference, JD Supra’s Adrian Lurssen demonstrated how they are using readership data to help law firms identify highly engaged prospects and pursue them with a…
When I started consulting, I met with an old friend who had been consulting for more than two decades. “You need to communicate the cost of doing nothing,” he advised me. “If firms understood the high cost of not investing in leaders, they will be more likely to start a leadership development program.” Easier said than done. Intuitively, managing partners know that investing in the development of practice group leaders, new and mid-level partners and…
Here are a few books on leadership that I recommend: The No Asshole Rule:  Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’tRobert Sutton The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge into ActionRobert Sutton and Jeffrey Pfeffer Leadership Is An ArtMax DePree Committed Teams:  Three Steps to Inspiring Passion and PerformanceMario Moussa The Art of Thinking ClearlyRolf Dobelli Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop
LAW FIRM PARTNERS, TALENT EXPERTS, AND STANFORD LAW STUDENTS JOIN FORCES TO TACKLE GENDER PARITY THROUGH INAUGURALWOMEN IN LAW HACKATHON  Diversity Lab, in partnership with Stanford Law School and Bloomberg Law, launch the Women in Law Hackathon aimed at advancing women in the legal profession DENVER, March 9, 2016 – Fifty-four top law firms have signed up to participate in the Women in Law Hackathon, a new Shark Tank-style pitch competition aimed at generating innovative…
Do millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers in the U.S. have different beliefs about what makes a leader effective? While it’s commonly believed that the generations’ preferences are substantially different, research from the Center for Creative Leadership  shows when it comes to leadership, the generations are more alike than different. Read the article here.…
Knowing oneself is the best way to begin understanding others.  That’s why we often start a leadership program with some sort of assessment, such as Myers Briggs, the Change Style Indicator or FIRO-B.  Chris Musselwhite, writes in INC. about the benefits of self-awareness: “It’s easy to see how pretending to know everything when you don’t can create situations that can be problematic for your entire organization. On the other hand, when you take responsibility for…