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Category Archives: Personal Effectiveness

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Get Tough on the Little Things and Impact the Big Things

Posted in Culture, Leadership, Management, Personal Effectiveness, Professional Service Firms (PSFs), Values
Allowing partners to consistently be late for meetings, fiddle with mobile devices or take calls, even if done quietly is tantamount to what is depicted here; chaos, rudeness and ultimately will cause a break-down of communication and respect. Leaders need to nip this in the bud and set the example in doing so. (Sean Larkan, Edge International)

Sometimes leaders  need to be tough on some of the little things. These can have significant ramifications which are not always immediately obvious. However, because the benefits are not obvious, or seem unimportant at the time, many leaders don’t address them, also possibly feeling that they don’t want to be ‘petty’. However, as we saw… Continue Reading

How Leaders can Track Actionable Emails and Electronic Media

Posted in Leadership, Management, Personal Effectiveness, Professional Service Firms (PSFs)
Leaders need to develop a system to manage following up on the dozens of important, single items that crop up and need attention - via email, a web article, a tweet or a LinkedIn enquiry (Sean Larkan, Edge International)

The life of a leader of a modern day law firm is full of variation, challenges and finding time to do everything. One of the toughest things for leaders to keep up with is attending to the small items – tracking and following up on actionable emails and other electronic or computer-generated items – those important,… Continue Reading

Leaders and accessibility – don’t just open the door, walk out the door

Posted in Leadership, Personal Effectiveness, Trust & Respect
Making yourself accessible as a leader seems to be about a number of things - being physically accessible and mentally attuned be so - also not just sitting in your office with an open door but going outside to wander about, go to staff teas, talk to staff in the passage or the lift, greet people warmly, take an interest in them and so on.

In a recent post I highlighted the importance of leader accessibility, responsiveness and reliability, effectively saying nothing beats these for importance. A reader suggested I follow up with a note on how a leader can achieve accessibility – here goes with my thoughts. I remember when I was in a managing partner role I thought… Continue Reading

Things we learn from young people

Posted in Leadership, Management, Personal Effectiveness, Uncategorized, Values
The penultimate day in a gruelling 1300km charity cycle ride

Despite the attractive laid-back hippy, flower power and surfing cultures which were around when I was young, our fairly conservative coastal-rural upbringing meant we thought more or less everything there was to learn would come through our parents. As one ‘matured’ one was tempted to think the youth of today had it easier and was… Continue Reading

Remember to walk your fence-lines

Posted in Culture, Leadership, Legal Profession, Management, People Strategy, Personal Effectiveness, Professional Service Firms (PSFs), Strategy, Trust & Respect, Uncategorized, Values
As leaders and senior managers we need to constantly remind ourselves to 'walk the fence-lines' of our organisation, keeping in touch with what is truly happening and how people are feeling - also picking up on any great achievements by anyone, or issues which are troubling someone.

My wife and I bought a small farm three years ago. As the grazing was leased out to a beef farmer the quality of the boundary fencing was paramount. The lady we purchased from told me up-front (and has reminded me ever since!) – ‘now Sean, remember to walk your fence-lines‘.  She was essentially saying… Continue Reading

Nothing, but nothing, beats accessibility, courtesy, responsiveness and reliability

Posted in Culture, Leadership, Legal Profession, Management, People Strategy, Personal Brand, Personal Effectiveness, Professional Service Firms (PSFs), Trust & Respect, Values
Nothing beats being accessible, responsive and reliable. You can be the sharpest tool in the workshop, but if you can't be found, don't respond well when used or don't the job you called on to do, people will eventually tire of using you. The same applies to professionals

You can be the brightest spark in the office but if people can never get hold of you, or after they do you take ages to respond or are simply unreliable, no-one is ever sure you will do the job, professionally you are going to do yourself in. I know of one professional who is… Continue Reading

The real leadership lessons of Steve Jobs – just one more thing: PART FOUR (final)

Posted in Brand, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Legal Profession, Management, Personal Effectiveness, Thought Leader, Trust & Respect, Values
'They look so good you kinda wanna lick 'em'

So far we have considered some 18 leadership lessons from Steve Jobs from Parts ONE, TWO and THREE of this series and how they may be relevant for legal leaders – all based on the Walter Isaacson article it the HBR. There are some things however I wouldn’t recommned for legal leaders. So what are… Continue Reading

Difficult partners and angry babies have a lot in common – some EQ tips

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Legal Profession, Management, People Strategy, Personal Effectiveness
Difficult partners, like angry babies can be impossible at times. You need to be geared up to deal with them and not avoid the issue.

What to do and what not to do with difficult partners was the subject of two recent posts (Leadership Frame #8 & #9). Coincidentally I came across a recent article from Travis Bradberry at Talent Smart (the EQ/emotional intelligence people) and he offered some more tips from an EQ perspective which I thought would be… Continue Reading

Leadership Frame #8: difficult partners – what not to do

Posted in Culture, Leadership, Legal Profession, People Strategy, Personal Effectiveness, Values
Difficult partners come in all shapes and forms. It is important that you don't default to bowing to their pressure or avoid them. Try to find the balance and keep the lines of communication open, no matter what.

Difficult partners are tough work. As a professional services firm leader or senior manager, at some stage you are going to be faced with the unenviable task of dealing with one or more. As I am sure you will confirm, they can be gnarly, hard nuts to handle. ‘Difficult’ comes in various shapes and forms…. Continue Reading

Food for thought on a most valuable marketing ally: thought leadership

Posted in Leadership, Legal Profession, Management, Personal Brand, Personal Effectiveness, Thought Leader, Thought Leadership
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In a recently published article in the Australasian Law Management Journal (ALMJ) on thought leadership as a most valuable marketing ally, I emphasized the importance of: recognising and taking advantage of valuable, untapped stores of thought leadership assets clarifying what we mean by thought leadership understanding its benefit to lawyers and their firms appreciating where… Continue Reading

Thought Leadership tips for leaders – interview with Think Write Grow author Grant Butler: Part Two

Posted in Brand, Leadership, Legal Profession, People Strategy, Personal Brand, Personal Effectiveness, Thought Leader, Thought Leadership
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Last week in Part One of this series Think Write Grow author Grant Butler defined thought leadership, talked about making thought leadership happen in practice and confirmed that just about anyone can become a thought leader. In this Part Two interview we cover thought leadership and personal brand, building trust as a benefit of thought… Continue Reading

Thought Leadership – Think, Write Grow author Grant Butler provides some insights for law firm leaders: Part One

Posted in Brand, Leadership, Legal Profession, Personal Brand, Personal Effectiveness, Thought Leader, Thought Leadership
Think Write Grow covers 72dpi

Thought Leadership is an important part of developing one’s personal brand, of contributing to the marketing and business development activities and successes of a firm, and to contributing to building the capital fabric of a firm. As professionals, it is ideally something all of us would aspire to do and be, a thought leader in… Continue Reading

Beyond rituals – personal effectiveness (PE) from 2012

Posted in Leadership, Legal Profession, Management, Personal Effectiveness
PE graphic 120103 D2

Last year I posted a Leadership Frame on the usefulness of daily rituals (based in large measure on a post by Tony Schwartz). As most leaders will be starting to think about their personal and professional priorities for the coming year and how they are going to get everything done (rather than get caught up in the… Continue Reading