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“Despite the fact that lawyers are intelligent and highly qualified professionals, they seem inherently ill-adapted to leadership and management roles.” (Thompson Reuters, Legal Insight)
Research on lawyers and leadership
“It is well documented by industry commentators that lawyers are simply not hardwired to be managers or leaders. In fact, the very qualities and thinking patterns that make us good lawyers are the things preventing us from succeeding in management roles.
Research conducted by Dr. Larry Richard at the Hildebrandt Institute (now part of the Thomson Reuters Group) indicates that, on average, lawyers score significantly higher than the rest of the population in six key behavioral traits. They are highly skeptical, autonomous, antisocial and resistant to new ideas, have a high sense of urgency and are easily discouraged by setbacks. This places them at a considerable disadvantage when it comes to leadership and managerial tasks.
Compounding this, lawyers who assume management roles generally have no prior experience, formal training or mentoring. More often than not, managing partners are appointed solely on the basis of seniority or success in building a client base.” (Thompson Reuters, Legal Insight)
The impact of poor management and leadership on a firm
“Inexperienced, untrained and/or incompetent leadership and management generally translates to high staff turnover, floundering client relationships, poor service quality and a lack of strategic direction, culture or consensus within a firm. The result is a drastically underperforming practice with frustrated partners and unhappy employees.
While it is possible for firms to weather these issues for a while (and many firms do), a significant external event will eventually necessitate a make-or-break leadership response. Amid the legal market’s current state of flux, firms without solid management won’t be able to achieve the strategic business plan and optimal profits they’ll need to survive.” (Legal Insight)
Lawyers can become great leaders through the proper use of experiences, education, coaching, and training.
Welcome to Seven Disciplines of a Leader Leadership Development Program for law firm leaders (managing partners/chairpersons, department, practice or business unit leaders, chief officers and high potential leaders) that develops the perspectives and skills necessary to be effective law firm leaders.
Based on the international bestselling book, this program is highly customized to fit your specific firm leadership needs and can be facilitated right in your office!
Wiley publisher, Richard Narramore, said “this book has the potential to become a standard text on leadership for organizations around the world”.
Now is the time to enhance the leadership skills of the leaders in your firm.
If you are having a meeting, conference or retreat, bestselling author Jeff Wolf is available to speak about leadership and a variety of topics at your next firm event.
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