Do you remember the internet boom in the late 90s when law firms were fighting to attract and retain the most talented young lawyers? In our current economy those days seem like a distant memory. I maintain that young lawyers are as motivated as ever. If you are a law firm leader, what do you suppose you can do that will create the environment for your motivated young lawyers to succeed?
I am coaching a group of talented and highly motivated associates with a law firm here in Texas. What makes me say they are highly motivated? It starts by simply looking at the business plans they have created. The plans are the product of thought and are specific enough to be an accountability tool. Next, members of this group are out there doing things. One lawyer is making presentations to CPA groups all over the state.
During my career I discovered I could not motivate the unmotivated. I could only encourage those who are motivated. I believe the Texas firm’s leaders and its marketing director have created an environment that encourages this group of motivated lawyers, including having them participate in the client development coaching program.
I have found The Leader of the Future: New Visions, Strategies and Practices for the Next Era to be helpful when it comes to leading younger lawyers. Marshall Goldsmith contributed a discussion on Leading New Age Professionals. He says those young professionals want leaders who:
- Encourage their passion
- Enhance their ability
- Value their time
- Build their network
- Support their dreams
- Expand their contribution
Your law firm’s associates are likely as motivated as those I am coaching in the Texas firm. How can you provide the environment for them to succeed?
Take a second look at the list above, and then go back and read the ideas from two other books in my post What REALLY Motivates Your Associates. Aren’t all of the authors are reaching the same conclusions about what young professionals want?
If all the experts seem to agree on what young lawyers want, the next step is to simply create that environment in your firm.