Leadership Development

Personality, Politics and Productivity: How You and Your Colleagues Think and Work

From yesterday’s New York Times (3.12.13): “What he doesn’t realize is if he tried a different style, he’d get a whole lot more cooperation,” [Republican Senator] Coburn said, adding: “He’s really a neat guy. People don’t know that about him.”   

Irrespective of your large-P Politics, it’s a powerful (though under-appreciated) truth that our basic personality styles significantly influence how we get along with people, and thus, what we get done. Which means that the small-p “politics” of your office have as much to do with how you and the people around you communicate and work with each other as …

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Your Attitude Toward Yourself (Part 5)

 Your Attitude Toward Yourself (Part 5)

Not surprisingly, your attitudes about business development, marketing, and time management are shaped by how you see yourself and the world around you.  And in turn, these flow from a complex mix of inherited traits, learned behaviors, unconscious beliefs, emotions, and a lifetime of experiences.  You are, as of today, the sum total of this mix.  But you also enjoy the uniquely human capacity of self-awareness, and this profound gift allows you to learn and grow and consciously change that mix, and thus change yourself.

The single most important attitude you can adopt, …

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How to Spot and Fix Your Management Blind Spots

Management myopia occurs when an attorney’s view of their daily experience becomes too narrow.   Attorneys suffering from myopia can miss important cues that could otherwise point them to improve their performance.  This can result in difficult or less than optimal working relationships with paralegals, support staff, other attorneys and even clients.

This practice management ailment is a very common condition.  We all have it to some extent because we tend to focus on what we know and filter out things that make us uncomfortable or are unfamiliar.   The most dangerous aspect of myopia is that we don’t even know that …

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Improve Your Firm’s Performance with the Three Golden Clarifications

You’ve been waiting for Alex, your associate, to get back to you on the Smith file. You: “Alex, what’s happening with those interrogatories?”  Alex: “I’m working on them.”  You: “AAAANNND??”

We hear it often: clients expressing frustration with a colleague or staff member who did not do what was expected.  The report was not delivered on time.  The data was incomplete.  The wrong form was used.  The meeting invitation didn’t go to everyone it should have.

In addition to the increased stress caused by these gaps between expectation and performance, there are other costs as well (e.g., your revenue-production …

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The “Success” Behaviors You Should STOP Doing Today

Successful people take action, right?  Leaders apply certain principals to get results.  Top performers do certain things to rise above the pack.  Successful law firm leaders tend to excel at rainmaking and/or practice management.

Indeed, when we think about successful people, we naturally think about the things they do that lead to their success.  They work hard, they stay focused, they constantly develop their knowledge and skills.

Furthermore, high achievers typically also hold beliefs about themselves that are equally important to their success.  For example, they trust themselves to assess a situation accurately and to exercise authority firmly.  As …

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“Not Knowing How” Didn’t Stop These Four Attorneys

It’s perfectly natural that if we don’t know how to do something we otherwise think might be a good thing to do, we tend to delay doing it.  We don’t want to risk screwing up, we don’t want to feel like we’re wasting time, or we don’t marshal the necessary resources to help us get it done properly.

Yet, according to the quote commonly attributed to Goethe, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”  Genius?  Magic?  Maybe not.  But power?  Yes, definitely.

Here are four actual examples of

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30 Suggestions to Improve Your Legal Writing

There’s an excellent list of resources on Plain Language and the Law at PLAIN (Plain Language Association International).

One of the best articles is LEGAL WRITING 201: 30 SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVE READABILITY (OR, HOW TO WRITE FOR JUDGES, NOT LIKE JUDGES)

Read it here: http://www.plainlanguagenetwork.org/Legal/legalwriting.pdf

Setting aside the debate as to whether the use of “plain” or “simpler” language can advance/protect your client’s position as effectively as dense legalese, these 30 suggestions will absolutely improve your writing — which will improve your relationships with your clients and the courts in front of whom you practice.

Here’s the full list of articles from PLAIN:  …

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