Leadership Development

Our leadership programs emphasize skills and mindsets lawyers seldom develop as they work with clients, but are critical when they lead colleagues. Relying on the best research within organizations where professionals crave autonomy and dislike being told what to do, our programs provide practical advice crafted specifically for law firms.

Each topic can be taught in a brief workshop, but the topics are often combined into longer retreat-style programs. Click here to view options of sample modules designed for practice group, office and client team leaders.

Firm Leader curriculum:

Making Time to Lead

Clarifying priorities and dealing with the time crunch

For many law-firm leaders, the greatest challenge is finding time to lead effectively while still maintaining a thriving practice (and a personal life). This program guides leaders in developing habits and disciplines that enable them to address long-term issues despite the unending stream of short-term pressures, and to maintain their focus on their priorities.

Strategic Planning and Execution

Engaging groups in creating and implementing strategy

When it comes to strategy, leaders typically face two challenges: plotting a path through a highly competitive and rapidly changing market, and engaging their colleagues so they buy into a strategy and invest their time in executing it. This workshop helps leaders design a planning-and-execution process that will produce results, not a document that sits on the shelf.

Leadership Styles

Matching your style to your goals

The leadership styles that work best for client matters aren’t always effective for leading colleagues. This workshop explains the range of leadership styles, asks participants to identify the styles they may want to use more often, and emphasizes the importance of matching the style to the situation.

Leading Change

Moving colleagues towards a common goal

Drawing on research-based frameworks for bringing about difficult changes, this workshop provides a pragmatic approach to leading colleagues towards goals that involve changes in behavior or a significant investment of time and energy.

Leading Collaborative Business Development

Creating effective client teams and new business initiatives

Research confirms what common sense tells us: greater collaboration within a group and among groups can produce dramatic increases in a firm’s business. This program shows group leaders how to generate more collaboration both within a group, making the most of each partner’s strengths, and among groups, pursuing opportunities that no single group could seize.

Managing Difficult Conversations

Performance, compensation, goal-setting, and accountability

Much of a leader’s work involves one-on-one conversations, sometimes about sensitive and contentious issues such as performance or compensation. This workshop demonstrates approaches and techniques for conducting these conversations effectively.

Leading One-by-One

Helping colleagues set goals, build practices, and thrive professionally

The most effective leaders know when their colleagues will benefit from individual support and guidance, and how to provide this support effectively. That requires understanding the difference between coaching and advising and the importance of leading others to define and take responsibility for their own goals.

Understanding and Shaping Culture

A leader’s most difficult task

Leaders are often stymied when the changes they want to accomplish cut across the grain of a firm’s or group’s imbedded assumptions and patterns of behavior. This workshop enables leaders to understand the implications of their culture and how to bring about cultural changes without creating unwanted side-effects.

Our article on Law Firm Cultures discusses the challenge.

Succession Planning

Managing transitions for clients and practices

There is much at stake for firms and their clients when a key partner leaves or retires. Leaders must balance the interests and needs of clients, departing partners, the firm, and potential successors. This workshop focuses on how to design and manage a process to transition leadership roles proactively and successfully.

Leading Meetings

Are your meetings working?

There is no more visible sign of leaders’ effectiveness and credibility than their ability to lead meetings that produce results while also building a group’s cohesiveness and morale. This workshop provides practical, specific advice about planning and leading meetings that will be met with enthusiasm and will help leaders achieve their goals.