Things Good Lawyers Believe

Bob Sutton, Stanford Professor, management consultant and author of Good Boss, Bad Boss and The No Asshole Rule shared his Twelve Things Good Bosses Believe on the Harvard Business Review.

I’ve replaced “people” with “clients” in a few of them, but otherwise left the list mostly untouched.  I think it is great set of principles for lawyers.

  1. I have a flawed and incomplete understanding of what it feels like to work with me.
  2. My success — and that of my clients — depends largely on being the master of obvious and mundane things, not on magical, obscure, or breakthrough ideas or methods.
  3. Having ambitious and well-defined goals is important, but it is useless to think about them much. My job is to focus on the small wins that enable my clients to make a little progress every day.
  4. One of the most important, and most difficult, parts of my job is to strike the delicate balance between being too assertive and not assertive enough.
  5. My job is to serve as a human shield, to protect my clients from external intrusions, distractions, and idiocy of every stripe — and to avoid imposing my own idiocy on them as well.
  6. I strive to be confident enough to convince clients that I am in charge, but humble enough to realize that I am often going to be wrong.
  7. I aim to fight as if I am right, and listen as if I am wrong — and to teach my clients to do the same thing.
  8. One of the best tests of my leadership — and my organization — is “what happens after people make a mistake?”
  9. Innovation is crucial to every team and organization. So my job is to encourage my people to generate and test all kinds of new ideas. But it is also my job to help them kill off all the bad ideas we generate, and most of the good ideas, too.
  10. Bad is stronger than good. It is more important to eliminate the negative than to accentuate the positive.
  11. How I do things is as important as what I do.
  12. Because I wield power over others, I am at great risk of acting like an insensitive jerk — and not realizing it.

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://www.nonbillablehour.com/2012/02/things-good-lawyers-believe.html/trackback