Do you think you have the ability to lead and influence in law throughout the various stages of your career? Do you have to be a Partner, Managing Partner, Barrister, Senior Counsel or Judge to be a “leader”? What is effective leadership? Is leadership and influence best exercised authentically, ethically, which includes effective interpersonal skills such as dignity and honour or with harshness and bullying, ensuring others have no easier road than you, on their way to reach the “perceived” top?
I am time poor, like most of my colleagues reading this blog, however, I believe leading by example, authentically and effectively is within my power and ability, even if I am time restricted. Why? I am of the opinion that whether you are a law student, a solicitor, a partner, Barrister or Judge, on a committee or just going about your daily business of practicing law, you all lead and influence others, even in small ways. You are not islands in your law classes at university, in your offices working with other lawyers and support staff. We all work as part of a community or “team”…and in when expanded, we all are part of the legal “community“. Do you lead and influence effectively as a “community member?”
You build a reputation, as do I, and whether you recognise it or not, we are all known for our professional qualities, influence and leadership, and its evaluated on a daily basis, as in my opinion leadership is demonstrated, in a number of ways, throughout the day. This may include how we act, what our attitudes are and how we treat others professionally and this can influence others and our individual environments positively or negatively. What does in/effective leadership and influence involve? Here are some examples of each leadership style:
Negative leadership displays these actions and attitudes:
- no time for others who require assistance
- status anxiety = exclude others, hold them back
- withholding knowledge, skills, information and opportunities
- competitiveness – “oneupmanship” is king!
- only interested in your own success
Positive leadership looks something like this (plus more):
- generosity of time especially when asked for help
- sharing of knowledge, skills, information and opportunities
- camaraderie and teamwork
- inclusiveness not exclusiveness
- assisting others to succeed
- dignity and respect displayed to others
6 Unbelievable Tips = Fabulous Leadership
Being mindful of the following to incorporate these tips into your daily work life, its win/win:
- Be yourself, don’t become a “cookie cutout” of what you believe a person in law is expected to be. Celebrate your uniqueness and remain authentic. Lets face it we are all unique with our own strengths and weaknesses.
- Speak to and treat others others with respect, dignity and kindness. Harshness or bullying are never acceptable, no matter how much pressure we are under. Harshness and bullying do not influence or lead others positively or effectively, they won’t produce optimal results.
- Where ever you are in your career, use your skills, position and strengths for good….for yourself and others. Look for ways to make your office, the Bar or law school a better place by investing in others success, as well as your own.
- Don’t take credit for success when it needs to be attributed to others. Be generous with praise and credit and celebrate team efforts, this demonstrates a healthy respect for your own and others success. Be supportive of others, they will be more inclined to support you in your successes, rather than sabotage you!
- Expect yourself and others to perform at a person’s “best” , not perfection….. as it doesn’t actually exist. Mistakes will be made by all and they are fantastic opportunities to learn and grow. The road to success comes with responsibility and risks and some failures. Keep “imperfections” and failures in perspective.
- You have gotten where you have worked hard for years to be, you are now in X position, and you have perceived power and status……. support those on their path to success by providing opportunities for others to succeed, rather than being ‘status anxious‘ or in a ‘famine mindset‘ by holding others back or holding success very tightly as if its not something to be shared as if “success is a scarcity” or even “kick the ladder” out from behind you once you have reached “your success” which makes you ‘status anxious‘
To lead with effectiveness and ethics may start small, firstly by being conscious that we all lead and influence, on a daily basis. It’s up to each of us to decide whether our leadership and influence will be positive and effective or negative and depressing. What reputation do you want to have at the start of your career, through to the “pinnacle’ as a leader and influencer? With greater “position” comes greater responsibility – to lead ethically and effectively!
I run complimentary lunch and learn sessions to assist law firms on a range of topics, which include:
- Build Know How and Confidence in IVF Matters
- Reduce Risks….practice ethically!
- Simple Tips To Make You More Confident In Medical Matters
- Build Know How and Confidence in Surrogacy Matters
- Doctors Failure To Warn: Risks of Blood Transfusions
- Mediation: Roles and Skills
If you’d like me to come to your firm to run one, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to talk.
Further information can be found at http://www.sydneybarrister.net.au