The passing of Labor Day usually means summer comes to a close, the fall wardrobe appears, and the planning process for the next year begins. Whether you have budgeting responsibilities or quarterly goals to measure, right now is a great time to check in on how you’ve developed your leadership, and the leadership skills in your team.

Maybe you didn’t set goals for yourself this year.  If not, consider these questions and look toward 2017 as a great time to focus on developing yourself.  Then you can challenge your leadership team to do the same!

  1. SELF DEVELOPMENT What programs did you attend this year? What action items did you decide on? How have you implemented them? How are they contributing to the firm’s overall performance? What about you or your team’s performance?  What training was missing from this year? How will you encourage your team to develop themselves in 2017? What about your development? What barriers are getting in the way of folks performing and how can you communicate them “up” in the firm?
  2. STAFF DEVELOPMENT What are you doing to develop your staff and your SMEs (Subject Matter Experts)? I see many firms who train from the least common denominator’s perspective.  While this is valuable, why not pair this training with some specifically designed for your SME’s to deepen their contribution to the firm? What resources do you offer them, including outside free resources such as webcast recordings, white papers, discussions or blogs? Click HERE for a list of our resources.
  3. MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT How are you educating those your report to about what you do? How often do you connect with others in the firm to understand their role and responsibilities? Or help them achieve their goals? Or collaborate to achieve firm wide goals? Often times management teams only get together when goals must be met. Consider a regular check in with your colleagues as the opportunity to learn and support each other, in addition to building a foundation of trust before the next initiative is launched.

Strategic planning is more than the firm’s process.  Strategy simply means creating a path, seeing a bigger picture, and building tactics and accountability toward it. Look at where you are at, and set new goals for the last quarter of this year that are realistic and measurable. You’ll start 2017 even better as a result!

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About the Author

Judy Hissong
Judy Hissong, CLM, is the President of Nesso Strategies. Nesso is the Italian word for connection, and her company is built on the passion of human potential and bottom line improvement. She writes, speaks, trains, and coaches on leadership, wellness, workplace engagement, and communication and conflict skills. Find her on twitter @judyhissong; email; phone 619.546.7885; and join her LinkedIn Group “Engaging Legal Leaders” for more conversation about leadership in law firms.