I've said from the beginning of this series that the process of developing the leadership skills, competencies, and mindsets necessary to create inclusive, collaborative, and effective teams isn't easy -- it takes hard work and commitment -- but it is simple. The simplicity of those first steps have, I hope, given you the confidence to get started. But working through the steps of plotting deliberate goals and actions for change and then executing and evaluating them isn't a linear process. It is a cycle to be repeated, because being a trusting, transparent, and empathetic leaders isn't a destination, it is a continual process.
"Crossing the Middle Atlas mountain range in Morocco." by www.ralfsteinberger.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
You might have started this journey with the intention of resolving an acute leadership challenge. For instance, this process might have helped you prepare for the prospect of giving a difficult performance evaluation or taking on your first complex litigation project as the lead counsel. And thinking back to your initial evaluation of what specific leadership qualities your role requires may show that you've moved the needle on one of those eight most important factors. Your deliberate effort is proof that leadership isn't beyond you and improving the way you lead is absolutely possible.
But as you review that progress and see how you've grown, you should also see opportunities to take further steps. And instead of feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of unending movement, consider your journey the prospect of unending opportunity to more thoroughly and effectively empower those around you. You will have to re-commit to each step; you will have to continually decide to change rather than live in complacent comfort. But there will be significant rewards for your journey.
As you become a more empowering leader, the environment around you will change. Your well-being goes up, as does the well-being of those around you. You will see this in your personal life as family and friends begin to accept and rely on the trust, transparency, and empathy you offer them. Your team at work will operate with less friction, creating more efficiency. This means tense situations -- crisis filings, difficult clients -- will feel less frought and you and your team will be better equipped to find the best path to success quickly. And the easiest way to measure this will be at the bottom line. More engaged, collaborative, and supported associates are less likely to look for work elsewhere. Every decrease in your rate of turnover saves your firm money and increases profitability. For some firms (with average billing rates at/near $750/hr), every month your firm spends looking for an associate can cost you more than $66K in profits. Even for smaller firms (billing at $200/hr), this can quickly add up to more than $18K in profits per month. (I broke down some of these numbers, here.)
Commit yourself to the journey and find a partner to help chart your path and lead you along the way. Book a Legal Leadership Strategy Session to find out if BKG Leadership Coaching is the right partner for you. Even if we don't work together, I'll make sure you leave that Strategy Session with a way forward and a clear idea about your next steps.