Leadership coaching consists of either one-on-one coaching or team coaching.
Law Practice Leadership
This form of one-on-one coaching is designed to help individual attorneys – in firms of any size, who wish to increase personal income, while reducing stress and hours in the workplace. I work with extremely successful attorneys who want to get even better. They are usually sole practitioners, owners of small law firms, or key executives in major corporations. They realize that the leadership behavior that was associated with yesterday’s results may not be the behavior that is needed to achieve tomorrow’s innovation.
Team Leadership coaching is designed to help managing partners and practice group leaders make the changes that will take your organization or practice team to the “next level”. In team coaching, I focus on helping successful attorneys achieve a positive, measurable, long-term change in behavior. I work with team leaders to see the connection between their behavioral change goals and their personal goals. This form of one-on-one coaching allows me to assist partners developing more entrepreneurial practice groups, or otherwise launching new ventures–and in need of strategies and a sounding board for enhancing client value. This form of one-on-one coaching can involve several attorneys in the same practice group.
Leadership Transition/Retirement Planning
This form of one-on-one coaching is designed to assist senior lawyers who wish to transition from the production side of the practice to new challenges where they can express their full repertoire of personal, business, leadership and entrepreneurial talents in new ways. Leadership Transition Planning will help individuals acquire skills and competencies to think and act differently. In the event of sudden death, severe injury or illness, law firms that lack succession plans inadvertently put both their partners and family at risk.
Practice Group Leadership
Practice Group Leadership is a form of team building designed to assist practice group leaders and executive team members who want to leverage the collective energy, creativity and intelligence of team members for maximum impact and outcomes.
This form of team coaching is usually done with a management team, committee or practice group that is being challenged to address complex or controversial concern affecting the partnership. Projects of this nature may include firm governance and compensation, associate retention and training, and firm ownership issues. Team coaching is generally done over a concentrated period of time culminating with a recommendation from the committee or practice group.
I generally work as a coach or mentor on behalf of the committee or practice group. I assist with background research and a key role of mine is to help leadership in ensuring that all team members are moving in the agreed-upon direction at approximately the same pace. Projects are generally conducted through a series of on-site visits and telephone meetings.
In today’s highly competitive environment in which a firm’s financial success depends greatly on the planning and organizational skills of key partners, planning for orderly leadership succession is critical.
Advance Exit Planning
I offer complete retreat planning and programming. I generally work with a leadership team from the law firm to ensure a collaborative effort. Examples of retreat topics include:
- Trends Affecting the Practice of Law
- Effective Practice Group Management
- Succession Planning for Firms and Practice Groups
- Changing Firm Culture – The Associates Perspective
- Effective Marketing Strategies
- Client Relationship Management
Reasons to Get Started
Managing Partner Disease
Managing partners, like leaders of any organization have more trouble than anyone else when it comes to getting candid feedback, particularly about how they’re doing as a leader. Research indicates that the higher a leader’s position in an organization, the more critically the leader needs that very kind of feedback. Executive coaches can serve managing partners as “companions on the journey,” occasionally leading the way and sometimes pushing to get over the rough spots. An executive coach can help managing partners overcome the information vacuum (managing partner disease) that can surround a leadership team created when people withhold important (and usually unpleasant) information.
According to Daniel Goleman, author of the New York Times bestseller, Emotional Intelligence, “In the new workplace, with its emphasis on flexibility, teams, and a strong customer orientation, this crucial set of emotional competencies is becoming increasingly essential for excellence in every job and in every part of the world.” Research indicates that for success in leadership positions, at the highest levels in any business–including law– emotional competence accounts for virtually the entire advantage. An executive coach, with extensive experience in law firm governance can work with a managing partner to foster the development of these valuable emotional competencies.
Aligning the Stars
Aligning the Stars is a term first used by Jay W. Lorsch and Thomas J. Tierney in their book by this title. They focus on what law firms will need to do to attract, retain, motivate, organize, and lead “the stars” that will shape the firm’s destiny. The authors believe, “Since success in legal services can be determined more by the people you pay than the people who pay you,” executive coaching is becoming a valuable service to help managing partners attain peak performance goals.
Creating the Future
Competition for the future of legal services will actually be competition to create and dominate emerging opportunities – to stake out new competitive space. Where the traditional law firm business model allowed practitioners to focus on the problem of getting and keeping market share, competition for the future is competition for opportunity share rather than market share. This will challenge law firms to provide new products or services where client preferences are still poorly understood. Working with an experienced executive coach, firm leadership will be in a much better position to imagine and preemptively create the future, so the firm will be around to enjoy it.
What are the Benefits of Coaching?
While coaching does involve teaching the right knowledge, coaching is also heavily process-focused; therefore, the benefits of coaching are in the arena of knowing the practical skill sets or information necessary for sound practice management as well as creating fundamental shifts in perspective, behavior and self-management that include:
- Clarity of vision and focus
- Follow-through on a specific leadership action plan
- Specific action within a Coaching Program structure
- Breakthroughs in attitudes, behavior, and achievement
- Courage to take action and follow through on bold ideas
- Smooth navigation through change
- Creative problem solving and “out of the box” thinking
- Specific business planning strategy and tactics
- Alignment of decisions with core strengths and values
You will benefit from coaching if you have:
- a goal of increasing income while reducing stress in your life.
- a desire for moving your professional practice to the next level.
- a feeling that you want to take charge of the rest of your life.
- a dream that a successful legal practice can be a fulfilling experience.
- a belief that you can reach your goals faster and with greater ease with the help of an advocate committed to your cause.
Does my law firm need an Executive Coach?