When I decided to embark on my career as a lawyer, I had many ambitions. I wanted to fight for justice and become a voice for people who aren’t being heard. Leadership wasn’t on my mind at all. But I quickly realized that I had some important lessons to learn.
I’m happy to be able to share all the things being a lawyer has taught me about leadership:
1. Leaders Inspire Change
Being a lawyer requires some degree of natural curiosity. I’ve always known this, but what I didn’t know was that curiosity is often a precursor to leadership.
Let me explain.
You’ve probably already heard the old cliché that knowledge is power. Well, that’s probably become such a commonly used phrase because it’s true.
When you are confident in your knowledge, it’s easy to lead in any situation. And when you ask the right questions, you’ll be naturally drawn to the areas that are begging for the kind of leadership you can deliver.
2. People Are Your Biggest Asset
When you run a law firm, it can be easy to get caught up in things like facts, theory, and data. And while those things are definitely important, nothing is more important than people.
Along with you, your clients and staff are the driving forces behind your law firm. As soon as you forget this, your career will begin to falter. But the good news is that you can quickly get back on track by putting people first again.
3. Leadership Doesn’t Exist Without Self-Care
This was a hard lesson learned, and I hope you can learn from my mistakes. So many lawyers get stuck in a cycle of burning the midnight oil and forget to take care of themselves.
But you can’t be a good leader when you’re not taking care of yourself. It’s akin to the old advice of putting your oxygen mask on first. You won’t be much help to anyone else if you can’t sustain yourself.
4. It’s Okay to be Misunderstood
As long as you have clear goals and good intentions, it doesn’t matter if other people understand what you’re doing. The only exception to this is your clients in certain situations.
But it’s okay to leave people scratching their heads every now and again. In fact, I highly recommend it.
This lesson will keep you from wasting time explaining why something is a good idea or worth doing. If you believe in it, do it. The rest will all into place.
5. Spend More Time Listening
When I was first starting out, this was a lesson I badly needed. In some ways, I was apprehensive. But in other ways, I was a bit too arrogant. I needed to learn how to listen before I could become a great leader.
A Lot to Learn
If you’re starting a law firm, I hope you can take my hard-learned lessons and get on a fast track to leadership. You’ll have a lot more to learn, but these tips should move you in the right direction.
What Can Lawyers Learn from Leadership?
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