University of Santa Clara

I am under the impression that law firms are not developing the next generation of law firm leaders. I am also under the impression that leadership isn’t something that most lawyers have in their DNA, meaning it needs to be developed.

I recently read a Forbes Magazine article: Why Leadership Training Doesn’t Work. I found the article interesting, in part because it supports my contention that one shot workshops are insufficient to develop the next generation of leaders or rainmakers.

If you are interested in developing your next generation, I urge you to read the article.

Here is a quote:

After two or three weeks, you might remember the concept but not how to implement the idea, and you’ll be lucky if you retain even two of the ten key points from the session. According to a Mckinsey & Company survey, adults typically retain just 10% of what they hear in classroom lectures. Cramming all the key learnings into one lengthy training makes logistical sense, but it greatly restricts learning retention…

Simply learning what to do over the course of one to two days doesn’t lead to acting differently in the long run.

Those of you I coached, or in firms where I coached know we worked together over 12-18 months. In our first group session, I taught you the concepts we would be working on in the future. You likely recall one of our goals was to make client development part of your habits.

You likely know there are well-respected leadership training programs out there.

Harvard and Columbia both have a program. I became online friends with the lawyer responsible for creating the University of Santa Clara leadership for lawyers program. I worked with a lawyer who is now a Global Senior Advisor with The Center for Creative Leadership.

I believe all the programs are truly excellent, but I’m not sure any of them change habits as envisioned in the Forbes article. So, suppose you wanted to develop your own program. Where would you start?

Years ago a well-known law firm asked me to help develop the initial leadership training for new partners. In my work with the firm, I created a Leadership Training Workbook. 

My workbook was in large part based on what I learned from reading many, many books on leadership. If you want to get started in your firm, or if you are a junior partner and want to start learning more on leadership, I hope you will find my workbook helpful.