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Category Archives: Books

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Happiest of Holidays!

Posted in Announcements, Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Innovation, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Pro Bono and Community Service, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Teamwork, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
From Law People Management to you and yours, we wish you peace, prosperity and good health during the holidays and throughout the New Year. To that end, we are pleased to announce the publication by the American Bar Association of our book The Emotional Intelligence Edge for 21st Century Lawyers currently scheduled for summer of… Continue Reading

Stress for Better and Worse

Posted in Books, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
The Center for Creative Leadership’s 2013 White Paper on “The Surprising Truth about What Drives Stress and How Leaders Build Resilience” lists stress and burnout as the top two issues leaders worldwide wrestle with. “Burnout” is a syndrome caused by excessive stress which can produce physical, emotional and mental exhaustion.  Burnout is the end game… Continue Reading

Muir to Speak at ABA Webinar on Emotional Intelligence

Posted in Announcements, Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
On Friday, February 13th, at 1 to 2 ET, Muir and psychologist Rob Durr will be presenting a program on EQ: What it is and Why it Matters in an American Bar Association Career Advice webinar.  They will be discussing how high emotional intelligence can transform a good lawyer into a great one. Learn: What emotional intelligence is… Continue Reading

Fixing the Leaky Pipeline and Other Gender Developments

Posted in Books, Diversity, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Uncategorized, Work/Life Balance
There’s been some good news in the women-in-law category over the last few years. For years, women hovered in the range of 15%-18% of partners in most law firms. Both Debevoise and Cravath have been leaders in changing that–with women comprising a solid 50% average of both firms’ new partners over a five-year period.  The 2011 NAFE/Flex-Time Lawyers… Continue Reading

The Manuscript Has Landed!

Posted in Announcements, Books, Emotional Intelligence
We apologize for the break in posting blog entries during the month of February.  That month was the runup to delivering a first draft of the manuscript for the book on emotional intelligence for lawyers that should be out later this year. Now that the manuscript has been delivered, let the blog entries resume!  … Continue Reading

Paying Attention to What Matters

Posted in Books, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Profitability, Wellness
The cover title of the Time Magazine issue coming out Monday, February 3 is  “Mindful Nation.” The ultimate benefit of mindfulness is that it improves our ability to focus our attention, which is sorely needed in our 21st century lives.  Improvements in focusing attention in turn increase our ability to both perceive and regulate our emotions, as… Continue Reading

What About Just Being Nice?

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Compensation, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Pro Bono and Community Service, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized
So you’re not really feeling the love?  Or even the compassion?  How about being nice–can you at least get into being nice? Fitting nicely into our recent blog posts about the more heartful arts, the November/December 2013 issue of the ABA Law Practice Magazine is entitled “The Business of Giving,” and features a story entitled “Being Nice.”… Continue Reading

The Law: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Posted in Books, Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
Mindful of Rev. King’s exhortation to leaven power with love, remember the Doonesbury character Woodrow proclaiming “By God, I love the law!”  Well, there’s a perspective afoot in the legal industry that may take that sentiment and turn it on its head.  It sounds something like “the law is all about love!” According to an… Continue Reading

Leaders: Warm or Strong? Giving or Taking?

Posted in Books, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Teamwork, Uncategorized
“It is much safer to be feared than loved,” Machiavelli wrote in “The Prince,” a 16th-century treatise advocating manipulation and even cruelty as the means to power. For effective leadership in the 21st century, is that still true?  Is it better to be feared or loved? The Machiavellian approach is still being vigorously advocated today–in,… Continue Reading

Managing Stress: Rumination and You

Posted in Books, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Productivity, Uncategorized, White Papers, Work Satisfaction
According to the statistics, lawyers exhibit more signs of stress and distress–expressed in depression, suicide, substance abuse, divorce, etc.– than any other profession.  Lawyer leaders may be even more stressed. The Center for Creative Leadership’s 2013 White Paper on “The Surprising Truth about What Drives Stress and How Leaders Build Resilience” names stress and burnout as… Continue Reading

Clueless at the Top?

Posted in Assessments, Books, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Innovation, Law Departments, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction
While workers with high emotional intelligence are consistently the best performers on all steps of the corporate ladder, interestingly enough it is those at the top level of management who have the lowest overall average emotional intelligence (EI or EQ)  in organizations. Prompting one journalist to contend that “Your Boss Probably Wouldn’t Pass Yale’s Emotional Intelligence… Continue Reading

Shall We Raise the Profits of Partners?

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Uncategorized, Work Satisfaction
The Altman-Weil 5th annual survey of law firm leaders has been recently published to much commentary. Some of the more striking results of the survey relate to leaders’ assessment of the market challenges (primarily reflecting the viewpoints of 250+lawyer law firms) and their firms’ ability to meet them.  Over the next 24 months, most managers cited the… Continue Reading

The World’s Best Legal System?

Posted in Books, Client Service, Ethics, Leadership, Management, Risk Management
After hearing in one of our lastest posts that China may be the United States of the 21st Century, is there any arena where the US still clearly reigns supreme?  Niall Ferguson, a Harvard University professor and Hoover Institution fellow, tackles that question in his recent book,  the cheerfully titled The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay… Continue Reading

What the White Coats May Be Missing

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Teamwork
Speaking of doctors in white coats, one has identified an attribute that may not rub off onto you when you don your own white coat.  According to Peter Ubel, a physician and behavioral scientist at Duke University, Starbucks employees have better training and are more effective in acting emotionally intelligent than doctors are. In his book Critical… Continue Reading

Notes from the Futures Conference: Part 2

Posted in Books, Client Service, Culture, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession
The following is a second installment about some of the highlights from this year’s Futures Conference of the College of Law Practice Management held at Georgetown Law School the end of October: Hiring and Training Successful Lawyers Georgetown Law School reported on two research projects they are undertaking–“Integration and Fragmentation in the Modern Law Firm” and “Developing Attorneys… Continue Reading

Notes from the 2012 Futures Conference of the College of Law Practice Management: Part 1

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Compensation, Diversity, Leadership, Management, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management
The following are some of the highlights from this year’s Futures Conference of the College of Law Practice Management held at Georgetown Law School last week: New Model Law Firms New entrants into law firm alternative business models are Clearspire, which consists of 2 joined companies –one providing legal services to clients and the other providing… Continue Reading

Clayton Christensen and the Innovator’s Dilemma for Lawyers

Posted in Books, Business Development, Leadership, Management, Profitability, Risk Management
We’ve been quoting Clayton Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School, for many years.  Christensen once called large American law firms "the most profitable businesses in the world," while at the same time indicting them: "Speedier information-gathering capabilities allow large law firms to increase utilization of less experienced lawyers without passing cost savings on to their customers." … Continue Reading

Freud and Emotions

Posted in Books, Communication, Conflict, Emotional Intelligence, Professional Development, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
In honor of the endings and beginnings at this time of the year and the personal and professional resolutions that each of us aspire to for the future, it is fascinating to look to the life of the founder of modern psychology, Sigmund Freud. A recent entry in "The People’s Therapist," a blog by a… Continue Reading

Decision-Making on Trial: Are We Promising More Than We Can Deliver?

Posted in Books, Client Service, Decision-Making, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Risk Management
A new book out this year entitled Beyond Right and Wrong: The Power of Effective Decision Making for Attorneys and Clients by Randall Kiser analyzes 11,306 attorney-client decisions in actual litigation matters and summarizes over 40 years of research regarding judge, jury, litigant and attorney decision making. Settling Better than Going to Trial? One of the… Continue Reading

“Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”

Posted in Assessments, Books, Business Development, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction
In a recent interview about her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Carol Dweck, the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, explained how a person’s mindset can account for success.  She identifies two major mindsets–fixed and growth.  In a fixed mindset, we think we know our strengths and weaknesses, believe that… Continue Reading

What Do Women Want? Challenging The Diversity Myth

Posted in Books, Client Service, Leadership, Management, Pro Bono and Community Service, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
  Monday, March 8, is International Women’s Day. So how are we doing? Bain and Company recently released results of a survey, reported in the Harvard Business Review, of 1,800 business people worldwide. Eighty percent believed that companies benefit from a gender diverse workforce; 75% reported having initiatives in their workplace to improve gender parity; but less than… Continue Reading

The New Dominance of Change

Posted in Books, Client Service, Communication, Culture, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability
Back in 1998 management guru Peter Drucker suggested that the capability to operate productively when change is the norm would be critical in the 21st century. Much has been said of late on this issue of managing change when change is the norm, including articles in the Harvard Business Review and from McKinsey. There are… Continue Reading

Can Introverts Lead?

Posted in Assessments, Books, Coaching, Communication, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Risk Management, Succession
Firms are placing their futures at risk if they cannot identify, develop and empower the next generation of leaders.  So it is no surprise that more law firms are investing in leadership development.  For example, according to PaLAW 2009’s 14th annual Managing Partners Survey, cited in the November 23, 2009 issue of The Legal Intelligencer, the number of… Continue Reading

The Outliers of Law–Embracing Heresy

Posted in Assessments, Books, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Risk Management
Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book Outliers, the Story of Success argues that what accounts for success is often not what we expect.  High IQs or a prodigious ability in computers or exceptional musical talent is not sufficient to explain Nobel Prize winners and Bill Gates and the Beatles.  While a certain level of intelligence, skill or talent may be a necessary ingredient for success, it… Continue Reading