Over the past month, I’ve been fortunate to spend time with bar leaders from across Montana and across the country speaking about what I call the “Five Factors for Legal Leaders.” These speaking engagements are a further development of my earlier blog post and Montana Lawyer article on the ways of living that distinguish successful lawyers (and I would suggest all successful individuals.)
It’s been a whirlwind four weeks of thinking, speaking and working with those who dedicate their time and talent to improving our justice system and, importantly, bar leaders who are engaged in the essential work of improving well-being for lawyers.
The characteristics of these lawyer leaders mirror the factors I previously identified as the recipe for successful lawyers: they are grounded, they are steady, they are continual learners who find joy outside of the law and they give back.
The “recipe” is that simple, and at the same time, a challenge to implement in our modern world.
My observations about leadership and success aren’t some secret available only through me, in fact these are timeless principles. But I remain convinced that one of the best ways to improve our own lives as lawyers is to examine the habits and distinguishing characteristics of those operating at the highest level in our profession.
As I’ve jumped into this work with both feet, I’ve had to check in with myself daily to make sure I am practicing what I teach. Am I grounded and keeping my footing? Was I steady today? What did I learn this week? Amidst all of my daily work, did I find time for my joy? And what have I done to give back?
The answers to these questions are not always what I’d like them to be, but asking them is the important part and doing so provides an opportunity to correct course when I invariably drift. I’d encourage everyone to ask them on a regular, if not daily, basis.
Because the response to these recent speaking engagements has been overwhelmingly positive, I’ll be diving into each of these factors more here in the coming weeks, engaging in a deeper conversation about what makes each factor a distinguishing characteristic and thinking more about how the factors can operate together in our daily lives.
Thank you for all of your positive comments and I look forward to continuing and expanding this conversation with you in the coming months!