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Posted In: Leadership & Culture Assessments

Law Firm Leadership: Maxwell’s 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

I typed “leadership books” into the search engine on Amazon’s website.  What would you guess?  1,000?  20,000?  50,000 different books on leadership?   The number exceeded 170,000!  I didn’t bother to look at them all . . . and you probably won’t either.  But if you’re a current or aspiring law firm leader, I would certainly recommend John C. Maxwell’s The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader.  If you’re like me, and you’re wondering what the 21 qualities are because you can’t wait for the UPS truck to arrive in two days, I’ve listed all 21 below.

  1. Character – Be a Piece of the Rock
  2. Charisma – The First Impression Can Seal the Deal
  3. Commitment – It Separates Doers from Dreamers
  4. Communication – Without It You Travel Alone
  5. Competence – If You Build It, They Will Come
  6. Courage – One Person with Courage is a Majority
  7. Discernment – Put an End to Unsolved Mysteries
  8. Focus – The Sharper It Is, the Sharper You Are
  9. Generosity – Your Candle Loses Nothing When It Lights Another
  10. Initiative – You Won’t Leave Home Without It
  11. Listening – To Connect with Their Hearts, Using Your Ears
  12. Passion – Take This Life and Love It
  13. Positive attitude – If You Believe You Can, You Can
  14. Problem-solving – You Can’t Let Your Problems Be a Problem
  15. Relationships – If You Get Along, They’ll Go Along
  16. Responsibility – If You Won’t Carry the Ball, You Can’t Lead the Team
  17. Security – Competence Never Compensates for Insecurity
  18. Self-discipline – The Person You Lead Is You
  19. Servanthood – To Get Ahead, Put Others First
  20. Teachability – To Keep Leading, Keep Learning
  21. Vision – You Can Seize Only What You Can See

Perhaps a good leadership aspirational checklist for all of us.

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One Commment

  1. Jay Benegal

    Jim, thank you. Yes, I 100% agree that every one of those qualities is essential to being an effective leader. However, tactfully weighting each quality appropriately (depending on the firm and its intrinsic culture) is the true art. It therefore begs the question, “Are great law firm leaders born or bred?”

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