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May 16, 2022 Leadership Publications and Writings

Leading Implementation/Execution

Listed items come from both within and outside the ABA.

June/July 2022

January 2019

  • Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps: How to Thrive in Complexity
    By Jennifer-Garvey Berger
    Author and consultant Jennifer Garvey Berger has worked with all types of leaders―from top executives at Google to nonprofit directors who are trying to make a dent in social change. She hears a version of the same plea from every client in nearly every sector around the world: "I know that complexity and uncertainty are testing my instincts, but I don't know which to trust. Is there some way to know what to do when I can't know what's next?"

April 2014

  • The Failing Law Firm: Symptoms and Remedies
    By David Parnell
    More than just illuminating the symptoms of a struggling firm, this book shows that by the time most symptoms are revealed, it is often too late for firm leaders to do something about them. This book provides a tool focused toward predicting destabilization, rather than just defining it once it happens, and supplies a blueprint that attorneys, management, and leadership can use in analyzing and planning for the robustness, cohesiveness, and strength of a firm's infrastructure.

September 2012

  • Learning from Law Firm Leaders
    By Michelle C. Nash and Susan Manch
    This book aims to crystallize views on a number of relevant aspects of leadership that have not been discussed in great depth in the current literature on leadership. It's a necessary resource for all law firm business strategists, management committees, chief strategy officers, chief executive officers, chief advertising officers, and law firm leaders at any stage in their leadership journey.

June 2011

  • Serving at the Pleasure of My Partners: Advice to the New Firm Leader
    Patrick J. McKenna and Brian K. Burke
    This book is a compilation of the best questions and answers processed over the past three years by the Managing Partner's Leadership Advisory Board (LAB) a hand-selected group of distinguished current and former firm leaders, all with at least 10 years of experience, who address the distinctive challenges facing first-time law firm leaders. Eighteen chapters address some of the most common questions that new leaders have as they take office. Contents cover a wide range of issues, including how to better manage your time, how to deal with a chronic complainer, how to measure performance, and how to deal with complacency. This work focuses on helping leaders develop the skills to handle all of these issues and more.

October 2010

November 2007

  • When Professionals Have to Lead: A New Model for High Performance 
    By Thomas DeLong, John J. Gabarro, and Robert J. Lees
    This book offers an integrated model of leadership that identifies four critical activities effective leaders must carry out:
    • set strategic direction
    • secure partner and associate commitment to this direction
    • three facilitate execution of strategy
    • set a personal example of behavior

April 2005

  • First Among Equals: How to Manage a Group of Professionals
    By Patrick J. McKenna and David H. Maister
    In this strikingly unique "playbook," professional service experts Patrick J. McKenna and David H. Maister provide real-world examples, a wealth of self-evaluation materials, and concrete advice on stressful day-to-day management issues that every leader of professionals will welcome. The authors offer penetrating insights into the basics of coaching, dividing their attention equally between energizing and guiding the individual performer and the group.

July 2003

  • Practice What You Preach: What Managers Must Do to Create a High Achievement Culture
    By David H. Maister
    Digging deeper by conducting in-depth interviews with managers and employees of the firms he surveyed, Maister has found that the key to success is not the systems of the firm, but the character and skills of the individual manager. He explores in detail the central role of the manager (what he or she must be, must do, and must require of others). The reader will find specific action recommendations from the managers and employees of these "superstar" businesses on how to build an energized workplace, enforce standards of excellence, develop people, and have fun -- all as powerful profit improvement tactics.

June 1997

  • Managing the Professional Service Firm
    By David H. Maister
    Drawing on more than ten years of research and consulting to these unique and creative companies, David Maister explores issues ranging from marketing and business development to multinational strategies, human resources policies to profit improvement, strategic planning to effective leadership. While these issues can be complex, Maister simplifies them by recognizing that “every professional service firm in the world, regardless of size, specific profession, or country of operation, has the same mission statement: outstanding service to clients, satisfying careers for its people, and financial success for its owners.”