I don’t run into many senior lawyers who understand. Do the senior lawyers in your firm realize it is way more challenging for a young lawyer to develop a book of business in 2013 than it was when the senior lawyers did it?

In mid-sized and larger firms today, income partners and senior associates go to work each day with the full knowledge that their firm has raised the bar on what it takes to get promoted to equity partner at the very time it is more difficult than ever to meet the standards.

I hope you saw my recent blog: Client Development/Career Coaching: Who will succeed? If you missed it, I argue that attitude trumps talent every time and argue that your most motivated lawyers are the ones who will benefit the most from coaching.

I saw these quotes in a Harvard Business Review article: What Can Coaches Do for You?  I am sharing them with you to support my proposition that coaching should be aimed at lawyers with the greatest potential and to suggest that coaching is more important in 2013 than ever before. (Note: I added references to lawyers and law.)

Ten years ago, most companies engaged a coach to help fix toxic behavior at the top. Today, most coaching is about developing the capabilities of high-potential performers.

Executives (lawyers) who get the most out of coaching have a fierce desire to learn and grow.

There’s no question that future leaders (rainmakers) will need constant coaching. As the business environment becomes more complex, they will increasingly turn to coaches for help in understanding how to act. The kind of coaches I am talking about will do more than influence behaviors; they will be an essential part of the leader’s learning process, providing knowledge, opinions, and judgment in critical areas. These coaches will be retired CEOs (lawyers) or other experts from universities, think tanks, and government.

Is your firm providing coaching opportunities for your high-potential lawyers, or are you just requiring them to meet higher standards in the “new normal” era?