Leadership and management are often used interchangeably in discussing law firm administration, but there are differences that require different sets of skills. My column in the January/February 2014 Law Practice Magazine is titled Leadership, Management and Herding Cats.
Here's a quote from the column explaining the title:
- Discussions of managing lawyers often include the cliché of herding cats. Cats are notoriously independent, as are lawyers. But lawyers are also trained to be outspoken, to construct arguments, to pick apart weakness in others’ positions, to be perfectionists and to attempt to gain as much advantage as possible in any negotiation. Delegation is often a challenge for lawyers because it is drummed into us, starting in law school, that a lawyer is still ultimately responsible for the failure of any delegated task. When you think about it, herding cats sounds easy when compared to leading lawyers.
This is the management themed issue of the magazine and, if you are involved in law firm management at any level, you will want to read the entire issue. Of particular note to small firm lawyers is the cover story, Flying Solo, by my friend Bill Gibson.