My friend John Keyser, an acclaimed business leadership coach and author of a fascinating new book on women as leaders, asks some interesting questions about leadership in his recent monthly newsletter. These are important questions and things that each of you needs to address. Even those of you at the early stages of law practice can be leaders to others. You all have skills to share, and sharing them in effective ways is critical to best practices and to reaching your full potentials as professionals.
Take a minute to think about these questions as they relate to your own experiences and practices. Also think about how you can best use your leadership skills to positively affect the work product of your team and the experiences of other team members. The law profession is moving more and more toward team models, and you all must learn to become effective team players. Cross-selling and promoting not just yourselves but also the team is likely to make a big difference in how you are perceived professionally.
You will see the “Jesuit experience” surfacing in the questions addressing values such as care and kindness. That is a background that John and I share through our Georgetown University educations, and it has been an important formative element in both of our professional lives. The influence of the Jesuits through my law education has helped shape everything I do and the values I apply to both my personal and professional lives.
Here is the way John Keyser poses the questions and challenges you to become a better leader:
- How effectively am I using my leadership gifts?
- Am I using my gifts to help others?
- Do others feel inspired by me?
- Are others moved to join with me in a shared collective vision?
- Am I a consistent source of positive energy for my team members?
- Do people know I genuinely care about them?
- Am I doing the little things, which mean so much, with kindness?
- What specialness do I bring to our team and our organizational culture?
Think about it. For more on John Keyser, see his website and read his new book, Make Way For Women: Men and Women Leading Together Improve Culture and Profits ( Librastream, May 15, 2015).
In whatever you choose to be in life, always choose to be a leader. You do not have to be the leader to the exclusion of others, but you will be squandering your talents if you do not use your power to lead.
Choose to lead!