I just spent a long evening with a friend who works in a law firm. No, she’s not a lawyer. She was defeated, discouraged and emotionally spent … her boss had created yet another personnel crisis in the firm. One good employee quit, another threatened to, and the entire firm was in uproar.
I had to wonder if the attorney creating this misery was enjoying it, oblivious to it, or even slightly aware of how much her explosion and resulting fall-out would cost her and her firm … how many opportunities lost, how many good people leaving, how much time spent repairing the damage instead of growing the firm.
Toxic culture is rampant in law firms and everyone can see it but the lawyers who create it.
People watching their backs, afraid they will become the next target.
Authoritarian demands delivered without explanation or feedback.
Micro-managing to the point of exhaustion, for all involved.
Are you contributing to toxic culture in your own firm? Have you heard yourself issuing some of these statements (or close variations)?
“I’m exhausted. I spend all day meeting with clients and all evening cleaning up messes.”
“No, I don’t need to bring my team to this (meeting, conference, training). They will do what I tell them.”
“No, I can’t come to that (meeting, conference, training) because I can’t afford the time away from the office.”
“Can you please train our new marketing coordinator? The last one left and no one here knows what she did.”
If you sometimes slip into authoritarian, manipulative or controlling leadership and management styles, you’re contributing to toxic culture in your firm.
The good news is you can change it. You can start recognizing toxic habits and learn new ones.
This is what you’ll learn on Day One of our EMPOWERMENT Retreat. Discover how you show up as a leader. Get honest feedback. Practice real change. Learn new skills and cultivate new habits.
The truth is, you can have more fun, make a bigger impact and earn more money when you learn the skills of positive leadership.
And by the way, great leadership is a tremendous competitive advantage in the marketplace. Why? Because most law firms truly suck at it. It’s a weakness that most lawyers deny and refuse to address.
In fact, turnover in law firms is at its highest level ever and the damage to firms is almost unfathomable. Turnover costs the top 400 law firms roughly $9.1 billion every year, according to a recent report by JD Match and Right Profile. High turnover rates compromise morale, damage the firm’s reputation, forfeit hundreds of hours of training and disrupt and challenge firm culture. And that’s all before accounting for the effects on client service.
When you master positive leadership skills, you’ll find it easy to hire and keep the best talent, keep your team focused on growing the firm and serving clients, and make more money.
You and your firm will be a magnet for the best talent, the best cases and the best clients … even at premium fees.
But it’s almost impossible to do it alone. Why? Because you simply cannot get honest feedback within your firm – colleagues and team members may fear reprisal or have their own agendas.
Rearrange your schedule now (I know you’re busy, but if you want this, you’ll make it happen!). Register and commit.
Don’t let toxic habits you probably learned in law school or at the feet of other “mentors” rob your joy and steal your financial freedom.
PS – If you WORK for someone who is creating a toxic culture, we can help you, too! No one deserves to be intimidated, manipulated or frightened at work! Discover your personal power and make positive change!