The Texas Bar Journal has a brief introduction into life coaching for lawyers here. Not surprisingly, many lawyers seek coaching for business development (how do I find more/better clients?) and end up seeking deeper answers related to career direction, area of law, and purpose in life. The article opens with this quote,
"I'm just waiting on my bonus check to hire a business coach and make plans to get out of this firm." - Five-year attorney, mid-sized firm.
Focus Tree Photography (www.1focustree.com) has become a favorite source for art and stock photography among our team at work. Photographer Bernard Wooten is a talented artist who has a wonderful sense of place and people. His photos (or gift certificates) make wonderful gifts.
According to the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, 70% of people in the United States say there is a leadership crisis in the United States. People don't trust their leaders, and at the heart of trust, is belief in the character of a leader.
"Example: Leadership by example leverages the natural human tendency to emulate the behavior of individuals held in high esteem. A leader's behavior sets the standard for the entire organization.
Education: Leaders and organizations should find ways to discuss the importance of character, the potential pressures on and challenges to character, and the short- and long-term implications of a lapse of character. Education might include discussions of case studies and scenarios that involve difficult moral or ethical choices.
Environment: The organization's culture is shaped and developed over time by the actions and values of people in the organization. Senior leaders can establish an environment that is open to character development by creating a clear, detailed, practical set of organizational values and by ensuring that everyone in the organization lives those values.
Experience: Senior leaders should ensure that high-potential employees are given "stretch" jobs and assignments requiring them to make difficult choices, which can help them better understand and develop character. These experiences also provide good indications of the character strengths and weaknesses of those who might become the future leaders of the organization.
Evaluation: Clear expectations regarding patterns of behavior need to be established and communicated. Leaders can then use feedback sessions and performance evaluations to gauge their progress, reviewing specific instances when their character was challenged and either stood fast or cracked. " - Gene Klann, CCL.org
Klann's webinar on February 8th is only $50. Register here.
Blawgworld 07 will be pre-launched at a party in NYC during LegalTech 2007 next week. The electronic tome will highlight 77 legal blogs, with information on the blogger, blog topics, and a sample blog post. Blawgworld is published by technolawyer.com. Watch www.blawgworld.com for more details in March. Leadership for Lawyers is pleased be one of the featured blawgs.
I've added a feedblitz subscription widget (lower left navigation panel) to the site. Fill in your email address and you will receive a copy of new blog posts via email. Join the thousands (ok, tens) of managing partners, in-house counsel, C-level executives, academics and summer clerks who have already subscribed to the feed! I hope to develop a newsletter in the future, and will use feedblitz list to launch it.
Elsmore explains Active Memory as, "The first theory helped actors to step into a character by utilizing their memories of past similar emotions. They were required to think of a moment in their own lives when they had felt a desired emotion and then replay that emotion in role in order to achieve a more genuine performance. In other words, become the character you want, from the inside out."
The Method of Physical Action he describes as, "The second theory, called The Method of Physical Action (MPA), is simple to explain but its implications are profound. It is based on the idea that our emotional life is a two-way street. The only thing an actor has complete control of is his body; nothing more. Therefore, an actor must use his body as the primary tool of creation. Acting on an emotion, gives it life. Actors must figure out what an emotion would cause them to do if they experienced it and do it. This action would bring out the heart and soul of that emotion. To put it in common language, you are more likely to act your way into a feeling than to feel your way into an action. There is power in raw action."
Here's the leadership lesson: We learn by doing. We feel by moving. We think by acting.
The research of Dean Meyer and Associates indicates that culture change can happen in as little as three years if leaders convert the new values into visible action, but if the values are only communicated without action, the culture change may take as long as fifteen years. Elsmore:
"This organization has discovered that when a company determines to change their culture, they often make a list of the new values, then verbally communicate them to their teams. This isn’t bad, but their research shows that by approaching change this way, it will take between ten to fifteen years for the organization to actually embrace those values. However, if the top leaders create a set of new values—then attached actions to them, and make it part of the leadership behavior, it requires just three years to bring about a culture change. Once again, it's the power of action. I call it the Hollywood Effect. Although it feels like you're pretending in the beginning, action translates faster than great speeches. Action produces emotion. And emotion multiplies in organizations." - Tim Elsmore, Growingleaders.com
How could I have missed this? Check out Leading Blog, which is part of the Leadership Now site, which contains a plethora of articles, tips, insights, and resources for leaders of all sorts. Recent posts include a comment on Six Sigma Leadership (some leaders fail because they don't have enough tools in their leadership tool kit - they may be good at a few things that got them where they are, but they need more leadership skills to adapt to new situations - a good excuse for leadership development in organizations). He also writes about an upcoming conference on NeuroLeadership (Stephanie West Allen recently asked me, "Don't you think everyone should know about neuroscience and brain health? Of course, I replied. We should both go to the conference.) And Michael McKinney also beat me to a wonderful post about Rev. King's vision, a topic I hope to write more about in the future.
The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) has a wonderful and affordable webinar series. Each webinar costs only $50 US and focuses on a different aspect of leadership, taught by their highly regarded faculty. Here are a few of the upcoming webinars:
January 30 - Advancing Global Leadership - In the complex environment of virtual communication, boundary spanning responsibilities and cultural differences, the context in which leadership takes place has changed. Effective global leaders must manage the tensions of competing global and local issues while learning to become more agile in their approach to business challenges. Further, global leaders must develop skills that allow them to successfully lead in cultures other than their own.
February 15 - Selling Yourself without Selling Out - Hard working individuals and groups are often not adequately recognized for their skills and contributions. Self-Promotion is an important skill to gain visibility, communicate value for you and your team and is essential to being an effective leader. Unfortunately, a 2005 CCL survey confirms that many leaders associate self-promotion with bragging, showing off or selling out. At the same time, self-promotion is seen as important to career success.
March 7 - Making the Most of Talent: Tools, Techniques and Tactics - When you think of your personal potential, how do you put it in context with the broader organizational setting you find yourself working in today? How does an organization design and implement succession planning, leadership development and talent management systems? How does your team strategically take advantage of position openings? How does your own talent management process shift as external factors drive new business requirements?
March 16 - Leadership Networking: Connect, Collaborate, Create - Networking is essential to effective leadership in today's organizations. Leaders who are skilled networkers have access to people, information, and resources to help solve problems and create opportunities. Leaders who neglect their networks are missing out on a critical component of their role as leaders. By seeing networking as an integral part of your role as a leader and by taking action to develop and nurture related skills, you begin to create benefits for yourself, your team, and your organization.