An Amlaw 200 firm with offices throughout the United States engaged Leadership for Lawyers for a leadership development program for their practice group leaders and office managing partners.
20 partners, each responsible for either a practice group or major office of a 500-attorney firm. The managing partner and several of the “C-Suite” participated as well.
The goal of the program was to equip front-line leaders with leadership skills to effectively lead their groups through a period of dramatic change in the firm.
The program consisted of in-person training, several assessments, coaching and four “breakfast briefings” which consisted of mini-training topics and facilitated discussion about critical issues facing firm leadership.
The training topics included:
• The role of a leader in a law firm
• Critical leadership skills for lawyer-leaders
• Self leadership
• Communications for Leaders
• Giving and receiving feedback
• Understanding and managing conflict
• Understanding the LPI 360 (360 Leadership Assessment)
• Challenging the process/Innovation
• Leading change. Change Style Indicator
• Enabling others to act – implementation, delegation and motivation
• Influence Style Indicator – Influence and Persuasion
• Encouraging the heart – Celebrating success and accomplishment
• Your vision for the future of the firm
• Developing a personal leadership plan
• Leading a high performance team
MBTI: Individually participants completed a Myers Briggs Type Indicator II (MBTI) assessment online and received one-on-one debriefing by a certified MBTI administrator. We also spent time looking at the group as whole through the lens of the MBTI, discussing implications for policy and decision-making.
ISI: Each participant completed an Influence Style Indicator (ISI) assessment as part of the module on influence and persuasion. The assessment was debriefed as part of a group exercise.
CSI: Change Style Indicator –an assessment and exercise focused on understanding different approaches to change, and its implications in leading firm wide and group wide change.
LPI: Most participants also completed a leadership 360 assessments called the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), which required them to have several “manager”, “co-worker” and “direct reports” assess them anonymously. The LPI focuses on the frequency of observed leadership behaviors and compares the individual’s self-assessment to those whom work most closely with her.
Participants received individual coaching. Coaching focused on helping the partners achieve their leadership goals and on navigating leadership challenges as they arose.
The “Breakfast Briefings” were two-hour, facilitated discussions on leadership issues facing leaders at that time. The purpose was to find ways to apply the training, assessments and coaching discussions to group learning and to build community across practice groups and offices.
The managing partner claimed that the sessions raised the “leadership IQ” of the firm significantly and facilitated discussions and relationships across boundaries that were previously absent. Nearly all of the participants reported benefit from the training, coaching and assessments and that the program helped them perform their duties as a practice group or office leader.