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How to Become a Great Leader

Event Snapshot written by LY Intern – Finn Lee

Article Summary Points:

Why is leadership important?

The session opens with Midja posing the question of why. Why is it important to take the next step in going from great lawyer to great leader? And why now more than ever?

The spotlight was cast on the ability of individuals to access the internet and social media. People know more than they ever have before, research can be conducted before approaching a law firm.

Therefore, making it important to understand the significance of good leadership and what sort of person you have leading the law firm.  ^

Distinguishing an Expert Lawyer from an Expert Lawyer

Now that the importance of leadership has been discussed, Midja brings attention to the traits of lawyers and how to distinguish between a ‘Great Lawyer’ and a ‘Great Leader’.

With this distinction, Midja and audience members emphasise that being a great lawyer may not always equate to being a great leader.

To demonstrate the differences, Midja provides a table which highlights the characteristics which might make someone a great lawyer but not necessarily a great leader.

This provided a good segue for the next discussion point; the stages which a lawyer will undertake in their quest for confident leadership and how they choose to proceed through these stages.

The stages discussed were as follows:

Stage 1: Unconsciously incompetent;

Stage 2: Consciously incompetent;

Stage 3: Consciously competent and;

Stage 4: Unconsciously competent

Midja points out that it is at around stage 2 ‘Consciously incompetent’ where lawyers are aware of their own incompetencies surrounding their ability to lead people, that they will be required to make the choice about whether or not they wish to take that next step in developing their capabilities in order to become a competent leader.  ^

How to Make the Transition from Great Lawyer to Great Leader

Attention was placed on mindset and the shift in mindset which is takes to transition from a lawyer to leader.

An underlying idea of a mindset change, is finding a new identity and learning a new skillset which was not necessary to be a good lawyer.

Midja speaks of her inspiration for her book ‘Take off the cape” where she asserts that an individual should show vulnerability and understand that they are not a superhero, leadership is not about rescuing others.

In Midja’s view, it will be a difficult process to let go of the mindset which was acquired while being a lawyer.

Moreover, a person must accept the ebbs and flows of this journey to becoming a great leader.  ^

This Q&A Lawyer Feature post does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion on any matter discussed and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and practice in this area.

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